Kobe Bryant Will 'Be Embraced' During Oscars' In Memoriam Segment, Producers Reveal

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Kobe Bryant Oscars 2018
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The 2020 Oscars will pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash last month at the age of 41.

Producers from the awards show revealed on Wednesday that the legendary NBA star will be remembered during the In Memoriam segment. Bryant was one of nine passengers on board the helicopter, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who also died in the crash in Calabasas, California.

"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 explains. "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."

Bryant's tragic death occurred on Jan. 26, just hours ahead of the 2020 GRAMMYs. The awards show took place inside Los Angeles' Staples Center, where the athlete played with the Lakers for the entirety of his professional basketball career. Producers of music's biggest night quickly put together a tribute for Bryant, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their plans to do the same. 

"We can confirm that Kobe Bryant will be acknowledged in the telecast," the Academy said in a statement to ET at the time.

At the 90th Academy Awards in 2018, Bryant won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar for Dear Basketball, which he wrote to pay homage to his love for the game upon retiring after 20 years in the league.

Speaking with ET on the red carpet, Bryant opened up about what it was like being nominated for the prestigious accolade. "It's a little surreal, to be honest with you," he admitted. "It's starting to sink in just how crazy this evening is. It's unbelievable." 

"Never in my wildest dreams did I feel we'd be here at the Oscars nominated for an Oscar," he added. "That's insane."

The 2020 Oscars air live from Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on ABC. Hear more in the video below.

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