LOS ANGELES (KGTV) - Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, officials announced Saturday.
Bryant, who was killed in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas on Jan. 26, leads a star-studded lineup of inductees including 15-time NBA All-Stars Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, and 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings.
Mamba, as Bryant was called by adoring fans and basketball players, led his teams to five NBA championships and was awarded NBA MVP in 2008 and NBA Finals MVP in both 2009 and 2010.
He also took home gold as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 games in London. He had been coaching his daughter Gianna's middle school basketball team after retiring from basketball in 2016.
“The Class of 2020 is undoubtedly one of the most historic of all time and the talent and social influence of these nine honorees is beyond measure,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19."
Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas mountains on the morning of Jan. 26. while enroute to coach his daughter's basketball game at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousdand Oaks. The crash also claimed the lives of eight others, including the Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The entire 2020 class will be formally inducted Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts. The organization is selling ticket packages to the 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony and all Enshrinement events at www.hoophall.com or by calling the Basketball Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5513.
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