Kobe Bryant leads star-studded class elected to basketball Hall of Fame

Kobe Bryant leads star-studded class of 2020 basketball Hall of Fame

The late Kobe Bryant led a star-studded class of nine people elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who died in a helicopter crash with his daughter and seven others Jan. 26 in California, was among the eight finalists selected. He joins NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Other members of the Class of 2020 are Tamika Catchings, Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann.

Longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann was also selected, bringing the Class of 2020 to nine.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment and honor,” Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, said in a statement. “And we’re extremely proud of him. Obviously, we wish that he was here with us to celebrate.”

Induction ceremonies will be Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts, ESPN reported.

Duncan was a five-time champion, a two-time MVP and a 15-time All-Star with the San Antonio Spurs during his 19-year career, ESPN reported. Garnett played 21 seasons, winning one NBA title and MVP honors. He also was named to 15 All-Star squads.

Catchings was a 10-time all-star in the WNBA and won a national title at the University of Tennessee. Tomjanovich was a five-time All-Star as a player and won two titles in 1994 and 1995 coaching the Houston Rockets.

Sutton was a four-time NCAA coach of the year who led three different teams into the NCAA Tournament, and Mulkey has led Baylor University to three NCAA women’s championships. Stevens is a five-time Division II coach of the year at Bentley University. She won a Division II title in 2014 and has won more than 1,000 games during her 40-year career.