Pau Gasol (R) honored Gianna Bryant, the late daughter of Kobe Bryant (L), by using her name for his baby daughter's middle name when she was born Thursday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Pau Gasol, wife name first child after Gianna Bryant


Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Pau Gasol and his wife announced the birth of their first child over the weekend. They gave their daughter the middle name Gianna in honor of the late Kobe Bryant's daughter, who died alongside the NBA legend Jan. 26.

Gasol and his wife, Catherine McDonnell, announced Elisabet Gianna Gasol's birth Sunday. She was born Thursday.

"Our little one has finally arrived," Gasol wrote on Instagram. "The delivery went really well and we couldn't be happier!

"Elisabet Gianna Gasol, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!"

Bryant and Gasol were Los Angeles Lakers teammates from the 2007-2008 season through the 2013-2014 campaign. They teamed up to win back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

"She made a quick and easy entrance on a very special day, her great-grandmother Elizabeth's 100th birthday and her mom and dad's second engagement anniversary," McDonnell wrote on Instagram. "We are already so in love with our sweet Ellie!"

McDonnell and Gasol announced the pregnancy in July.
Nuestra pequeña ya está con nosotros! Todo ha ido muy bien y no podemos estar más felices!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol 😍, un nombre con mucho significado para nuestra preciosa hija!! ❤️👨‍👩‍👧 #Padredeniña Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol 😍, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! ❤️👨‍👩‍👧 #girldad

"My goddaughter is here," Kobe's wife, Vanessa, wrote on Instagram. "Congratulations. Love you three so much! So touched by your request to honor my 'Gigi.' Can't wait to hold Elisabet Gianna Gasol."

Gasol and Kobe maintained a close off-the-court relationship before Kobe, Gianna and seven others died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

Gasol has remained close to Bryant's family. He posted a photo of himself with Gianna's basketball team Feb. 7 on Instagram.

He also posted a photo while on a boat trip in August with his wife, Vanessa Bryant and Kobe's daughters Bianka, Natalia and Capri in San Francisco Bay.

"She is so lucky to have you," Natalia wrote on Instagram in response to McDonnell's post. "We love you so much. Best godsister ever."