(Reuters) - Twice Olympic basketball champion and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant on Friday lent his name to the Los Angeles bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Bryant, who won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 to go with five NBA championship rings earned with the Lakers, joined the LA 2024 Board of Directors and the Athletes’ Advisory Committee via an announcement on Facebook Live.
The retired 38-year-old Bryant, an 18-times NBA All-Star who wore the No. 24 during his 20-year career with the Lakers, added his name along with eight other prominent athletes.
Among those joining Bryant were Valerie Brisco-Hooks, a three-times athletics gold medalist at the 1984 LA Games, 2002 Olympic figure skating champion Sarah Hughes and swimmer Summer Sanders, who won two golds and four medals overall at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Los Angeles and Paris are bidding to host the 2024 Games.
LA 2024 plans to build on Bryant’s impressive social media footprint, with 11.9 million Twitter followers and 21 million Facebook likes, to reach global youth audiences and help grow Olympic and Paralympic sports.
“Kobe is synonymous with LA’s status as a global sports and entertainment capital and he will be an excellent addition to our bid team,” said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris