January 31, 2020 / 10:33 PM / a month ago

All-Stars to wear special uniforms, patches to honor Bryant

FILE PHOTO: Fans of NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant pay their respects at a memorial outside the Staples Center at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - NBA players will wear special uniforms and patches during February’s All-Star weekend to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash near Los Angeles, the National Basketball Association said on Friday.

Team LeBron (James) will wear the number 2, Gianna’s basketball jersey number, and Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo) will don number 24, Kobe’s number, the NBA said.

In addition, both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing those who lost their lives in the crash, including John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan, during the All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in Chicago.

Patches featuring the numbers 2 and 24 in the center surrounded by nine stars also will be worn during the NBA Rising Stars contest on Feb. 14 and the NBA Skills Challenge, three-point and slam dunk contests on Feb. 15.

Rosters for the All-Star Game will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 6.

Bryant, 41, an 18-time NBA all-star and one of the most admired athletes around the globe, his 13-year-old daughter and the seven others were killed when their twin-engine helicopter slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, with clouds and fog limiting visibility.

The NBA had announced on Thursday that each quarter of the All-Star Game will serve as a mini-game for charity and scores will be reset to start the second and third periods.

In the final quarter, which will be untimed, the winner will be the team that reaches a target score determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; editing by Ken Ferris

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