Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will be the global ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, FIBA announced on Wednesday.
As a global ambassador, the two-time Olympic gold medalist will promote the World Cup and take part in a number of activities on the Road to China 2019. Bryant will join Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who was named the first ambassador in December of 2016.
"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 in a press release. "I'm honoured FIBA has invited me to serve as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019."
He knows what you've been up to. @KobeBryant the #FIBAWC 2019 🏀 Global Ambassador is watching you! pic.twitter.com/GUOUYjbvie- Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) October 31, 2018
"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," he continued. "I look forward to seeing who will lift the trophy next year."
FIBA President Horacio Muratore said that the organization is "thrilled" and "honoured" to have Bryant join them in the lead-up to the World Cup.
"Kobe has proudly represented the USA on the world's biggest stages, where he's achieved the highest successes," Muratore said. "As such, it's only fitting to have him take on this role ahead of our biggest-ever competition."
The competition tips off on Aug. 31, 2019.