Former NBA and Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for his animated short film Dear Basketball.
Dear Basketball was adjudged the best animated short film at Oscars 2018 which was written and narrated by Bryant. He accepted the award as the executive producer of the film.
The animated film is based on a poem written by Bryant for The Players Tribune in 2015 in which he explains his love of the sport he played professionally for 20 years.
Glen Keane, whose work includes Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid animated the film, while Oscar-winning composer John Williams provided the soundtrack.
The basketball star has added the award to his list of other accomplishments including five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals, NBA Finals most valuable player awards, a league MVP award and four All-Star game MVP awards.
The 39-year-old sports superstar believed the nomination validated that he could succeed off the court. “As basketball players, we’re told to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said on stage. “I’m glad we did a little bit more than that.”
Since hanging up his basketball shoes in 2016, Bryant has delved into businesses such as Kobe Bryant Nike Shoe, film & TV and various forms of storytelling. He is currently writing, producing and presenting a series for ESPN called Detail, in which he will analyse the intricacies of the game.
Bryant, in August 2016, had launched venture capital firm Bryant-Stibel along with business partner Jeff Stibel. The company focusses on different businesses including media, data, gaming, and technology, with $100 million in funding. In 2014, he established Kobe Inc. to own and grow brands in the sports industry with initial investment in BodyArmor sports drink company.