Basketball legend Kobe Bryant is set to be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame following news of his shock death yesterday.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California yesterday as it was believed they were heading to basketball practice at Kobe’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.
Following the shocking news, it was announced on Monday that the 41-year-old late athlete will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class.
“The Hall of Fame joins the rest of the basketball world in mourning the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant, a nominee for the class of 2020 and an icon of the game,” a spokesperson for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame told E! News.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the Bryant Family and all of those affected by this tragedy. We look forward to announcing our Finalists at NBA All-Star Weekend and revealing the full Class of 2020 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.”
The Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo has also told The Athletic reporter Shams Charania that Bryant will be honoured alongside fellow basketball stars Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
Kobe Bryant will be a first-ballot enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020.
"Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," HOF chairman Jerry Colangelo says. "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 27, 2020
“Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett,” HOF Chairman Jerry Colangelo told the publication. “Kobe will be honoured the way he should be.”
Throughout his 20-year professional career, Kobe Bryant won five NBA titles before retiring in 2016. He is known as one of the best scorers in the league, listed as no.4 on the NBA’s all-time points list.
Following news of his death, Bryant has been honoured with an outpouring of messages on social media, at the Grammy Awards held at the LA Laker’s home ground and even at the Australian Open yesterday.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and three children. Our thoughts are with his loved ones and the families of all of those killed during this difficult time.