Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was named a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Global Ambassador, which calls for him to help promote and participate in various activities leading up to the event in China.
“Growing up in Italy and spending many years visiting China, I have always appreciated the global impact that basketball has had on the positive development of young people,” Bryant said.
“I’m honored FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. I hope my participation inspires and motivates the best players from the 32 participating teams to represent their respective country on the world’s biggest stage. I look forward to seeing who will lift the trophy next year.”
Bryant joins Yao Ming as an ambassador, and in addition to the World Cup, the two will also be involved in various roles for the first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition.
In addition to winning five championships over a 20-year career with the Lakers, Bryant also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
Although Bryant has been content in maintaining his distance from any sort of official capacity with the Lakers, he’s now twice become involved in international sports. Bryant previously joined the Board of Directors for the bid to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles.
The group focused on 2024 but the city was instead awarded the 2028 Olympics.