Kobe Bryant to be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

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Kobe Bryant

In this Dec. 1, 2015 file photo Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant smiles as he jogs to the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. The Retired NBA superstar has died in helicopter crash in Southern California, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(FOX) — Kobe Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, it was announced on Saturday.

Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was among the eight finalists who were announced in February.

The 2020 class includes five-time NBA Champion Tim Duncan and 15-time All Star Kevin Garnett. WNBA great Tamika Catchings, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton will also be inducted at the enshrinement ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, is scheduled for Aug. 29.

“This is an incredibly special class, for many reasons,” Hall of Fame Chairman and enshrinee Jerry Colangelo said.

FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann was also selected as a direct-elect by the international committee, bringing the total number of inductees to nine.

Bryant died with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 as the group was on its way to a basketball tournament. This was about three weeks before the Hall of Fame announced that he was a finalist.

Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant
FILE – In this July 26, 2018, file photo former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch during the U.S. national championships swimming meet in Irvine, Calif. Federal investigators say wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month and killed Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any outward evidence of engine failure, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson,File)

“The highest of congratulations to you, dear friend,” Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement, Sports Illustrated reported. “This one is so well deserved — for all the hard work, sweat and toil. Now, a part of you will live in the Hall with the rest of the all-time greats, where your legend and spirit will continue to grow forever.”

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