SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Kobe Bryant is being remembered Monday at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
There is a memorial set up in the lobby of the Hall of Fame where fans are encouraged to stop by and pay their respects and leave flowers.
Bryant is a nominee for this year’s class of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
22News anchor Rich Tettemer talked to President and CEO of the Hall of Fame, John Doleva, on the death of Kobe Bryant. You can view that interview above.
Basketball Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva talks about his reaction to the tragic news Sunday.
“Waking up this morning it feels surreal, it feels like it didn’t happen and you have to check in with the broadcast and see that this did happen and it got worse overnight with now 9 people perishing in this accident.
Kobe was about to be considered for enshrinement and certainly he would be a slam dunk to be enshrined this August. We are just beginning the process right now so I fully expect that he will become a finalist. Ironically there are 24 honors committee voters, his number is 24 and I would certainly believe that he would be a unanimous choice to be a member of the class of 2020.”John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
What was it about Kobe that made him so special?
“Coming in young and having a confident attitude and delivering I think made it very special for him and he was the next generation of Michael Jordan.
He got so many people around the world thinking about playing basketball. Boys and girls wanted to be Kobe Bryant. And then we see now with daughter’s involvement in women’s basketball just how important that was to him.
I remember seeing him at the Final Four two years ago, at the women’s Final Four and they were watching UConn and I think the daughter had every intention of going to UConn and playing for Geno.
It was just a magical moment to see them and watching the game together and enjoying the game together and him kind of the nuances and coaching basketball as they sat on sidelines.”John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Without Kobe here, what are the plans to make Enshrinement one to remember?
“Well we’re still working on that. We’ve got to determine our process and make our announcement at the Final Four.
I do anticipate that Enshrinement in August will be very much focused on the life and time of Kobe Bryant being a member of the 2020 Class and also celebrating his life and reminding people as a Hall of Famer he lives here forever.
This is a place where people can come and if you will visit with Kobe and just reflect on what he meant to the game of basketball and what he meant to the human experience.”John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Kobe Bryant will soon to be enshrined forever with the other greats of the game at the Basketball Hall of Fame.