Vanessa And Natalia Bryant Give Emotional First Interview After Kobe Bryant's Death

Ross Houston
April 6, 2020

When Tamika Catchings was officially selected for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday, she became the first Lady Vol player to be so honored.

The Lakers legend's life was tragically cut short earlier this year, when the helicopter he was flying in along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people crashed just outside Los Angeles on January 26.

"Obviously, we wish he was here with us to celebrate, but it's definitely the peak of his National Basketball Association career". She has already been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame (2002) and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).

He was one of the greatest competitors who stepped on the court and made sure his impact was felt on both sides of the ball.

Catchings is a 10-time All Star, who leads the WNBA in career steals, and is third in points and rebounds.

In Game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant introduced himself to the world on the biggest stage, with one of his most-clutch performances.

At least 18 of the 24 anonymous voters chose the five-time NBA title victor, while three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich and four-time Olympic medallist Tamika Catchings are also chosen for induction.

'Kobe was not only a proven victor and a champion, he gave everything he had to the game of basketball. "Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball and we look forward to celebrating them at Enshrinement in August".

"Lakers team owner Jeanie Buss saluted Bryant in a statement that praised the star's fierce competitiveness, work ethic and drive". Those qualities helped Kobe lead us to five titles - and have now brought him to the Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined with the greatest to have ever played the game.

With games suspended and Bryant's death now having sunk in, one of basketball's most joyous days carried a pall.

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