By Dan Palmer |
Kobe Bryant is among eight finalists nominated to become members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame following his death in a helicopter crash.
The shooting guard is considered to be one of the sport’s all-time greats, winning five NBA titles with Los Angeles Lakers and two Olympic gold medals with the United States.
He was killed aged 41 alongside eight other people after the private helicopter he was flying in went down in Calabasas in California last month.
His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant was among those to lose their life.
Bryant was nominated for Hall of Fame induction in December, before his death, and is now confirmed as a finalist for potential entry in 2020.
All eight have been put forward by the North American and Women’s Committees.
They need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be accepted, with this expected to be a formality.
An official announcement is scheduled for April 4 at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four in Atlanta.
“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,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“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, and we look forward to revealing the class of 2020 at the Final Four in Atlanta.”
Bryant spent his entire career with the Lakers and was named as an NBA All-Star 18 times.
Other victims of the helicopter crash included husband, wife and daughter John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli.
Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton also lost their lives, as well as Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Bryant is joined as a Hall of Fame finalist by fellow players Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings.
Coaches Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens have also been put forward.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.