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Kobe Bryant's daughter Natalia signs with IMG Models

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Natalia Bryant has signed a modeling contract with IMG Models.

IMG Models confirmed Monday on Instagram that it is now representing Bryant, the 18-year-old daughter of late retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant.

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"I have always been interested in fashion since a very young age. I have a love for the industry and ever since I can remember I wanted to model," Bryant said in a statement. "There is a lot to learn but I feel this is a great opportunity for me to learn and express myself creatively."

Bryant confirmed the news on Instagram Stories.

"I am beyond thrilled and so honored to be a part of the IMG family!" she wrote.

Vanessa Bryant, singer Ciara and television personality La La Anthony were among those to congratulate Bryant on social media.

"@nataliabryant I'm so happy for you! I love you Nani!" Vanessa Bryant wrote.

"So Beautiful @nataliabryant So excited for you sunshine @imgmodels @vanessabryant," Ciara added.

"My niece has officially signed with @imgmodels," Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony, said. "@nataliabryant I'm so excited and proud of you. Beautiful from the inside out! Just like ur momma @vanessabryant."

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News of Bryant's contract comes shortly after her 18th birthday, which was in January. Vanessa Bryant wished Bryant a happy birthday in a tribute on Instagram.

"Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the young lady that you are. You have displayed so much strength and grace throughout the most difficult year of our lives," Vanessa Bryant wrote.

"You're such an incredible big sister and a beautiful role model to so many people," she added. "Thank you for being kind, polite and gracious in everything that you do. You have no idea how happy and proud mommy and daddy are that you're our daughter."

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020. Vanessa Bryant has two other daughters with Kobe Bryant, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 19 months.

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