Former NBA star Kobe Bryant has become an unlikely Oscar winner after Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated, won the Academy award for best animated short film.
The film sees an animated Bryant explain his love of the sport he played professionally for 20 years. Glen Keane, who worked on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid animated the film, while Oscar-winning composer John Williams provided the soundtrack.
Bryant, who retired from basketball in 2016, has looked to move into film and television since leaving the game. Alongside Dear Basketball, the former LA Lakers star is writing, producing and presenting a series for ESPN called Detail, in which he will analyse the intricacies of the game.
The nomination for Bryant has caused controversy in some quarters in an awards season when sexual abuse has been a major topic of conversation. Bryant was arrested in 2003 after a hotel worker accused him of sexual assault. Bryant denied the allegation, and the case was later dropped after the accuser refused to testify in court. A later civil suit was settled out of court. As part of the settlement Bryant issued an apology to the plaintiff, but did not admit guilt over the incident.
Source: The Guardian