Kobe Bryant smiles
Getty Images / Noah Graham

Just two months after Kobe Bryant‘s death shocked the world, the NBA star is receiving his sport’s highest honor. Bryant has been elected to lead this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class. The announcement was made Saturday on ESPN.

Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and the fourth all-time leading scorer in league history, he also won two Olympic gold medals. The 2020 class may be one of the most superstar-laden crops of inductees in basketball history. The late Laker will be enshrined along with Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Women’s NBA star Tamika Catchings.

Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant told ESPN, “It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor. We’re extremely proud of him. Obviously, we wish he was here with us to celebrate.” She called the induction “the peak of his NBA career” and noted that “there’s some solace knowing that he was probably going to be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”

The Class of 2020 will be enshrined on August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer