#GirlDad: Father-daughter pics fill social media after ESPN anchor's moving Kobe tribute

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Connecticut and Houston, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
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(WMTV) -- As much of the nation mourns for the nine people killed in the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, a touching tribute by ESPN’s Elle Duncan has proud dad’s everywhere showing off their father-daughter bonds.

During a segment on SportsCenter that will leave even non-dads reaching for a tissue, Duncan recounted meeting Kobe while she was nine months pregnant. After learning she was going to have a girl, he told the mom-to-be “just be grateful you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing.”

Duncan went on about how Kobe talked about how his oldest daughter was an accomplished volleyball player and the youngest, who was still a toddler at the time, was “TBD.” But, when it came to the Gianna, Duncan remembers Kobe bragging on his 13-year-old daughter that she was a beast and better than he was at her age.

At the time of their run-in, Duncan recalls Kobe had three daughters and when she asked about him possibly having more children, and if he would be worried about having another daughter. Kobe didn’t flinch, she said, replying immediately, “I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”

By the end of her piece, Duncan was obviously choked up, but she wrapped up the piece saying simply, “the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad. Being a girl dad.”

The video of the segment took off on Twitter which quickly filled with fathers and daughters with the simple hashtag #GirlDad