Barack Obama honored Kobe Bryant at the NBA All-Star brunch on Saturday (Feb. 15). According to TMZ, the 44th president spoke of the legendary NBA champion, who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Jan. 26.
In a video shared by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama said, “That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with — particularly, Kobe because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents, and taking our kids to ball games, and rooting for our children, and then seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them … nothing is more heartbreaking.”
He then offered his condolences to the NBA family, Kobe’s family and the family of former commissioner David Stern, who died of a stroke last year.
Kobe has also been named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, according to Complex. “When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time,” Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement.
He continued, “The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honor his legacy while also recognizing seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys.”
A public memorial will be held for Kobe and Gianna on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center.
Check out Barack Obama’s speech below.