Kobe Bryant will be honored posthumously later this year as a 2020 inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame ceremony, which is also set to honor Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, will be held in August in Springfield, Mass.
HOF chairman and former USA Basketball Director Jerry Colangelo told The Athletic of Kobe's induction: "Expected to be the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
Bryant was announced back in December as one of the nominees alongside Duncan, Garnett, Tim Hardaway and Mugsy Bogues. The 2020 class will be officially announced in April.
Bryant’s sudden death in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, has shocked sports fans and athletes around the world.
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Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (cq) points to Pau Gasol (cq) during a 4th quarter run against the Suns (cq) in game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals playoff basketball game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: MICHAEL CHOW, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC)
O'Neal wrote on Twitter after the news spread Sunday: "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through with this tragedy of loosing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."
Bryant retired in 2016 as a five-time NBA champion, 11-time All-NBA first-team selection, 2008 MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star and four-time All-Star MVP who spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
Contributing: Jeff Zillgitt.
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