This year’s Oscars ceremony will feature a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. The basketball player died tragically in a helicopter crash this month, alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is planning to honour the sporting legend during the awards show on 9 February, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
While he was of course best known for his history-making sports career, Bryant also proved himself to be a talented filmmaker. He was presented with the Best Animated Short Oscar in 2018 for his five-minute autobiographical film Dear Basketball, which he wrote, executive produced and lent his voice to.
The short film features line drawings by Glen Keane which animate a poetic letter Bryant wrote to announce his retirement from professional basketball in 2016.
“As basketball players we’re really just supposed to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said on stage to cheers as he accepted the coveted golden statue. “But I’m glad we did a little bit more than that. Thank you Academy for this amazing honour.”
He then thanked his family, saying: “To my wife, Vanessa, our daughters, Natalia, Gianna and Bianca, ti amo con tutto il mio cuore [I love you with all my heart]. You are my inspiration.”
Bryant’s death sent shockwaves through Hollywood when his private helicopter tragically crashed in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. There were no survivors on board.
The Academy paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers legend on Instagram, writing: “They doubted a kid could make it in the NBA and he proved them wrong. They doubted he could win a championship and he proved them wrong. They doubted he could make movies and he won an Oscar. Like all great artists, Kobe Bryant proved the doubters wrong. Rest in peace.”
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar UK.
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