A public memorial in honor of Kobe Bryant is due to be held at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Monday February 24, his wife Vanessaconfirmed on Friday.
It will also honor Bryant’s daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in the same helicopter crash in Los Angeles County in late January.
CNN reported the symbolism of the date 2/24: Bryant wore a No. 24 jersey for the latter part of his career, and Gianna played in No. 2 in youth basketball games.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Staples Center memorial will be relatively brief, as it needs to finish in time for a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
The bodies of all nine victims from the January 26 crash were returned to their families this week by medical examiners in Los Angeles.
Staples Center has already become a focus for memorials to Bryant. Fans made their own memorial outside the arena the day after he died, coating the ground outside with flowers, jerseys, and other tributes.
The first Lakers game after the crash, against the Portland Trail Blazers, also became a Bryant tribute, with celebrity performances, a speech from LeBron James, and two empty courtside seats for Bryant and Gianna.
Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Los Angeles news channel ABC7 that Bryant should have some kind of public memorial in the city where he spent 20 years as a standout player with the Lakers.
“I think one message that I would say is thisis not just about a man who was a basketball player, thisis about a father, thisis about a leader, thisis about a filmmaker, thisis about an artist, thisis about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on thecourt,” Garcetti later told the Times.
The other victims of the crash were John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan, the pilot.