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Company that worked with Bryant pays tribute to late NBA star

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An entertainment company co-founded by a Marlboro resident is remembering NBA legend Kobe Bryant, with whom the company had worked to create a short film that won an Academy Award.

In 2017, Believe Entertainment Group, New York City, produced the short animated film “Dear Basketball,” which depicted Bryant’s farewell to basketball.

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Marlboro resident Dan Goodman, a co-founder of Believe Entertainment Group, was an executive producer of the film.

Bryant, 41, entered the NBA directly from high school and played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 seasons. He retired at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Bryant died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles that also claimed the life of his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven other individuals.

Believe Entertainment Group posted a statement on its website to recognize Bryant’s passing and his memory. The company said:

“All of us at Believe Entertainment Group are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic event that led to the loss of Kobe, his daughter, Gianna, and the seven other individuals with them.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Bryant family and to all of the families of those lost. We are honored to have been a small part of telling Kobe’s incredible story and to have helped the world see his inspiring spirit.”

“Dear Basketball” is a five-minute animated film that was drawn by animator Glen Keane. Bryant narrates his history with basketball and his retirement over animated footage of child and adult versions of himself playing basketball.

The basis of Bryant’s narration for the film is from a letter he wrote in 2015 to announce his retirement.

“Dear Basketball” won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on March 4, 2018, and an Emmy for Outstanding Post-Produced Graphic Design at the 39th Sports Emmy Awards ceremony in 2018.

“Dear Basketball” may be viewed online at https://believeentertainmentgroup.com/portfolio-item/dear-basketball/

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