Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Sport | By

Jennifer Hudson to take part in All-Star tribute for Kobe Bryant

Jennifer Hudson to take part in All-Star tribute for Kobe Bryant

Tributes to the late Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who died last month in a helicopter crash, will play a major role in Sunday's (Feb 16) 69th NBA All-Star Game.

Bryant, who won five National Basketball Association championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and was often compared to Michael Jordan, died with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna ("Gigi") and seven others in a helicopter crash on February 26.

All-Star Game jerseys will also honour Bryant and his daughter. Lebron, who was a close friend of Kobe, said earlier that his 5-year-old daughter, Zhuri, inspired his decision to use Gigi's number.

Team Giannis players will wear jersey number 24 in tribute to Kobe while Team LeBron players will wear jersey number two, the number his daughter wore when playing youth basketball.

The team that wins the All-Star game will be the first to reach a target score, to be determined by the total points the team in the lead scored in the first three quarters combined plus 24, again in honor of Bryant.

A truly global event, NBA All-Star 2020 will bring together players, coaches, media and fans from across the world, highlighting the enormous and continued growth of the game worldwide.

Both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing the nine people who were killed in the crash.

During State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 15, Queen Latifah will be joined by Chicago youth for a special performance of Stevie Wonder's classic song "Love's in Need of Love Today."
On Friday, Feb. 14, the Chicago Children's Choir will sing the USA national anthem in advance of NBA Rising Stars, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.

James and Antetokounmpo each chose their squads from available starters and reserves voted and selected to the All-Star contest.

Included in the 19 global athletes is four All-Stars who have been selected to start the game, with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece), Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011) and Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012) set to be on the floor when the ball is tipped.

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