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Brandy has burst her blackout about the afterlife of Kobe Bryant, who had taken her to his aerial academy brawl added than 20 years ago, and weeks afore he was drafted to the NBA.

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The retired Los Angeles Lakers star, one of the best accepted and acknowledged basketball players of all time, died at age 41 in a helicopter blast on Sunday forth with 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, one of his and wife Vanessa Bryant’s four daughters, and seven added people, including two added boyish girls.

“Never will I understand,” Brandy, 40, wrote on Instagram on Friday, alongside an image of Kobe adhering Gianna. “My condolences to @vanessabryant , the absolute family, and all in affliction during this adverse time. Love ♥️ #Mamba #Mambacita.”

In May 1996, at age 17, Brandy, a ascent R&B accompanist and brilliant of the hit sitcom Moesha, was Kobe’s date to his Lower Merion Township Aerial Academy prom at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. Brandy wore a sleeveless albino Moschino dress and watching capote and her signature continued braids. Kobe, about 18 at the time, wore a atramentous tux and banded-color shirt with no tie.

“He asked me to go to the brawl with him, and back he was a nice guy…I asked my mom, and she said yes,” Brandy told the New York Daily News at the time.

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“I said I don’t apperceive this guy. I had no abstraction who he was,” Brandy’s mother, Sonja Norwood, told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1996. “And again Brandy said, ‘He’s a basketball player.’ And I said, ‘So?'”

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“I admired that he had complex parents and he was accomplishing able-bodied academically,” she added. “He seemed to be a appealing acceptable kid. He was calm and grounded. And I said OK.”

Kobe had continued had a drove on Brandy.

“We were in English chic together, and he had one of those boyhood magazines and it had a account of Brandy because she was on that show, Moesha,” one of the basketball star’s accompany and classmates, Ashley Pietropaolo, told the newspaper. “He showed me and he said, ‘I’m gonna accompany this babe to prom.’ And I was like ‘Whatever, you’re crazy.’ Every day, he would be like ‘I’m bringing this babe to prom.'”

Brandy and Kobe finally met months above-mentioned to the accident at a contempo Nike All-Star basketball bold in the city, the Philadelphia Inquirer had reported.

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The two kept in touch. Brandy alike got him a bedfellow atom on Moesha that year. In June, a ages afterwards the prom, the two abounding the premiere of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, the Charlotte Hornets called Kobe with the 13th all-embracing aces in the aboriginal annular of the NBA draft.

He was anon traded to the Lakers, area he would absorb his 20-year career. He retired from the NBA in 2016.

In 2016, Brandy told TMZ that she kept the brawl dress.

“It was a appropriate night,” she said.

Watch E! News weekday mornings at 7 a.m. and don’t absence our 2020 Oscars: E’s Inside Guide appropriate Friday, Feb. 7 at 11 p.m.!

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