January 26, 2020, was a day that touched the whole world. Former pro basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a tragic helicopter crashed in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. The helicopter was on its way from Orange County to Thousands Oaks, California where Bryant was scheduled to coach a tournament game at Mamba Sports Academy.
Bryant won five NBA championships and the 2008 MVP Award with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was 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.
Bryant was in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame and was announced one of the nine for the class of 2020 induction scheduled for August 29, 2020.
“Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate,” Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, said on the ESPN broadcast of the class announcement. “But it’s definitely the peak of his NBA career and every accomplishment that he had as an athlete was a steppingstone to be here. So we’re incredibly proud of him.”
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.