Kobe Bryant will serve as a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador, the organisation announced on Wednesday.
In the role, Bryant will help to promote the event, which will take place from August 31-September 15, 2019 in China.
Yao Ming will also serve as a global ambassador for the tournament.
“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 honoured FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
PAY ATTENTION: Download AriezNaija Mobile App Available On Google Play Store
“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.”
FIBA president Horacio Muratore said the organisation was “thrilled and honoured” Bryant accepted the role.
“This speaks to the impressive stature of our flagship competition,” Muratore said in the statement. “With a record number of participating teams and as the culmination of the ongoing qualifiers, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China will be a truly unique event and the sporting fixture of 2019.
“Kobe has proudly represented the USA on the world’s biggest stages, where he’s achieved the highest successes. As such, it’s only fitting to have him take on this role ahead of our biggest-ever competition.”
Bryant was one of the NBA’s best players with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2016. He scored 33,643 career points, made 18 All-Star teams and won five NBA championships.
Bryant also took home two Olympic gold medals with the United States in 2008 and 2012.