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Kobe Bryant Named As 2020 Basketball Hall Of Fame Finalist

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 15 Feb 2020 13:06
Kobe BryantKobe BryantPA images

The late basketball star Kobe Bryant has been named as a 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame finalist. 

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Bryant, who spent his whole 20 season basketball career at the LA Lakers, passed away January 26 in a tragic helicopter crash alongside his daughter, Gigi, 13, and seven others.

Back in December Bryant was announced as a nominee for the hall of fame.

Kobe BryantKobe BryantPA Images

Following Kobe being a finalist Class of 2020, Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement:

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When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time.

The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honour his legacy while also recognising seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys.

The complete list of five finalists from the North American Screening Committee includes: players Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, plus coaches Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich. The three finalists from the Women’s Screening Committee include: player Tamika Catchings; and coaches Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens.

The Hall’s Class of 2020 will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta on April 4. The Hall’s Honours Committee – which made up of Hall of Famers, basketball executives, media members and others – will vote on the finalists, who must receive 18 of 24 votes to be enshrined.

Following the tragic death of Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, his wife of 19 years, Vanessa, paid tribute to them both on Instagram and thanked people for their support.

Vanessa BryantVanessa BryantPA

Kobe and Gigi were survived by Vanessa and Gigi’s three sisters; Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

Her post, which has over 11 million likes, read:

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them.

We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.

There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.

Vanessa also announced the launch of the MambaOnThree Fund, a fundraising initiative established by the Mamba Sports Foundation to support the other grieving families.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, basketball, Gigi Bryant, Hall Of Fame, Jerry Colangelo, Kobe Bryant, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Vanessa Bryant

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  1. NBA

    Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announces 8 finalists for Class of 2020 Election