In 2023, Vanessa Bryant announced that six colleges would team up with the Mamba & Mambacity Sports Foundation for the upcoming 2023-2024 season to honor Kobe Bryant.
As the widow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant came under fire recently after Dr. Umar Johnson, a social media personality, accused her of not using the late athlete’s money to benefit the Black community.
Vanessa is facing criticism again as the Kobe Bryant-inspired Mamba and Mabacita charity foundation has been accused of raising nearly $30 million but not allocating much for charitable purposes.
According to documents obtained by Sportico, the nonprofit foundation had a reported net worth of over $27 million at the end of 2022. However, tax documents revealed that the charity only spent $481,953 on programs, which is just $37,840 more than the total legal ($250,259) and accounting ($193,854) fees.
In 2022, Vanessa Bryant won a $16 million jury verdict against Los Angeles County after suing a sheriff’s deputy and fire department official for sharing unauthorized photos of her husband and daughter. She had pledged to donate the damages to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Despite having a substantial amount of money, the foundation has not allocated much for charitable purposes.
The $481,953 in program expenses were primarily used for building or refurbishing outdoor basketball courts in nine different states.
In 2021, the foundation reported spending $423,851 to host a basketball skills academy for 130 children and an additional $100,000 to support the construction of three basketball courts in Anaheim, Calif., and Philadelphia.
Vanessa Bryant serves as the board president, and her eldest daughter Natalia is also a director of the foundation.
In January 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, tragically passed away in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California along with seven others.