The Oscars usually put together an annual “In Memoriam” segment to recognize those who have died in the past year. There’s no word on whether or not Bryant will be honored in that segment, or in another part of the show.
“We can confirm that Kobe Bryant will be acknowledged in the telecast,” the Academy said in a statement today (Jan. 28).
On Monday (Jan. 27), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon held a moment of silence to honor the nine victims of the helicopter crash. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among those nine victims.
Back in 2018, Bryant’s Dear Basketball won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Dear Basketball was Bryant’s love letter to the game of basketball, which he spent 20 years of his life committed to.
The short film is narrated by Bryant and described how his love for the game began when he was a young child and continued on to his professional career. Bryant says how he and basketball have given each other everything they have.
During his acceptance speech he said, “I don’t know if it’s possible. I mean, as basketball players we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble, but I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.”
Bryant also thanked his family for their unconditional support. He ended his speech with an Italian phrase, “Ti amo con tutto il mio cuore: You are my inspiration.”
Other nominees in the category included Negative Space (Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata); Garden Party (Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon); Lou (Dave Mullins and Dana Murray); and Revolting Rhymes (Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer).
The 92nd Oscars are set to air February 9 on ABC.