Go90 Premieres Kobe Bryant's Oscar Animated Short Contender 'Dear Basketball'

Dear Basketball Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Based on the basketball player's poem of the same name, the film is one of 10 animated shorts that have been shortlisted for an Oscar nomination.

Verizon-owned video app go90 has nabbed the premiere for Oscar contender Dear Basketball from Kobe Bryant. 

The five-minute film, which hails from animator and director Glen Keane, features the former Los Angeles Laker reading his poem of the same name. Composer John Williams provides the score. 

Dear Basketball is available to view on the free go90 app, as well as across Verizon properties including Yahoo Sports, AOL and Complex. "Verizon's go90 welcomes an array of creators, from icons to up-and-comers, providing them with a flexible canvas on which to share their stories," said go90 chief content officer Ivana Kirkbride. "On the heels of its Academy Awards shortlist inclusion for best animated short film, the piece is a delightful new addition to our sports and entertainment offering." 

Dear Basketball began as a poem published in Derek Jeter's The Players Tribune in 2015. The short debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and won two awards at the 2017 World Animation Celebration. It is among 10 animated shorts being considered for an Oscar nomination, including LGBT love story In a Heartbeat and Dave Mullins' directorial debut Lou.    

"Dear Basketball is a story about the child within all of us, having dreams and loving something so much that you know when it's time to say goodbye," said Bryant. "Glen Keane and John Williams are masters of their crafts and bring a raw emotion to this story that I never thought possible. We created this film with the sincere hope that it resonates with and inspires fans of all ages, in all walks of life, to be the best version of themselves. Being able to present the short on go90 and across many of Verizon's media brands gives more people an opportunity to see the film and be inspired."

Go90 is also streaming an exclusive 22-minute look at the making of Dear Basketball

The news that Dear Basketball was sold to Verizon was announced on the same day that Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys will be retired during halftime of the L.A. Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors. The film is expected to screen during the ceremony.