Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will honor Kobe Bryant by wearing Bryant's number 24 on his jersey during warm-ups prior to the team's game on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. versus the Nashville Predators.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others, passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Bryant, who retired from the NBA in 2016, spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers, Bryant won five championships, was named NBA Finals MVP twice and the NBA's MVP in 2007-08.
Throughout his career, Ovechkin has shared his admiration for the sport of basketball and its athletes. Ovechkin has long admired Bryant and his commitment to his sport and felt privileged to have met him on several occasions. Ovechkin's mother, Tatyana, played professional basketball in the Soviet Union and won Olympic gold medals with the national team in 1976 and 1980.
Ovechkin's number 24 jersey will be signed and put up for auction benefitting the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. Details of the auction will be shared at a later date.