Kobe Bryant’s shocking and sudden death has had an impact on all facets of the entertainment world.
After the GRAMMYs quickly put together a tribute to the late NBA star after he died in a helicopter crash earlier that morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences says it plans to acknowledge Bryant during the 2020 Oscars ceremony taking place on Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. In a statement to ET, the Academy said, “We can confirm that Kobe Bryant will be acknowledged in the telecast.”
Producers from the awards show revealed on Wednesday that the legendary NBA star will be remembered during the In Memoriam segment.
“I think the In Memoriam segment has always been an important part of the show and this year is no different in that we’re honoring all of our community that we’ve lost,” producer Stephanie Allain explained. “I think what’s really appropriate is that Kobe was part of the film community, and as such, he will be embraced within the In Memoriam segment.”
Although Bryant was, of course, best known for his iconic NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker, he is also an Oscar winner. He won the Best Animated Short Oscar in 2018 for his autobiographical short, Dear Basketball, which he wrote to pay homage to his love for the game upon retiring after 20 years in the NBA.
ET actually spoke with Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, on the red carpet before his Oscar win in March 2018, and he called the whole experience “surreal.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I feel we’d be here at the Oscars nominated for an Oscar,” he admitted. “That’s insane.”
A moment of silence was held for Bryant at the 2020 Oscars Nominees Luncheon that took place at the Dolby Theatre. The Academy also Instagrammed a picture of Bryant proudly posing with his Oscar.
“They doubted a kid could make it in the NBA and he proved them wrong,” the caption reads. “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.”