*LA Lakers’ shooting guard Kobe Bryant is set to become the first athlete to have a hand and footprint ceremony at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011.
The ceremony will take place during the City of Los Angeles’ hosting of the NBA All Star Weekend festivities and will be followed later that evening with a lavish star studded gala event for Bryant, 1,200 VIP guests and select members of the public.
“To be a part of such elite company is a tremendous honor. I’m proud to be the first athlete to be recognized,” stated Bryant.
Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career. He has twice been the NBA scoring champion and was part of the gold medal winning U.S.A. Basketball Men’s National Team at the 2008 Olympics.
Throughout his 14 year career, Bryant has become a pillar in the world wide philanthropic community specifically dealing with children’s charities. He has enjoyed a long relationship with St. Jude’s Hospital, After School All Stars, The Boys & Girls Club of America and has granted more wishes than any other NBA athlete to children with life threatening medical conditions via the Make-A Wish Foundation. Through his Kobe Bryant Family Foundation and the Kobe China Fund, he has sponsored Hispanic and African American children with scholarships, leadership grants and cultural exchanges allowing them to learn Mandarin and martial arts as well as donated for the relief efforts of victims of the Schezuan earthquake.
Bryant will join over 200 stars including Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Harrison Ford and John Wayne who have had their hand and footprint ceremonies.