The Academy Awards paid tribute to NBA legend and Oscar winner Kobe Bryant, who died last month, at the annual awards ceremony. He was featured in the ‘In Memorium’ segment along with other film personalities who died in the last year.
Bryant was the first to appear in the evening’s tribute video, presented by Grammy-winning teen Billie Eilish, who sang The Beatles’ song ‘Yesterday’. His photo with the Oscar he won in 2018 was used along with a poignant quote from Bryant: “Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going.”
The 41-year-old basketball star was killed in late January when a helicopter he was riding in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter Gianna.
In 2018, Bryant had won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards (Oscars), based on the a poem he had written during his retirement titled ‘Dear Basketball’ He had collaborated with Glen Keane and John Williams to turn his poem into a short film.
Spike Lee also honoyred Bryant at the Oscars with a custom-made suit. The purple and gold outfit was in the colours of Bryant’s NBA team Los Angeles Lakers and bore his jersey number 24 on the lapel and the back.
Matthew Cherry, a former NFL player, became the second former athlete after Bryant to win an Oscar for his film ‘Hair Love’, which is about an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair.
He also won an Oscar in the same category as Bryant, for best animated short film, and dedicated his award to the late star.