Sports Personalities Who Have Won Oscar Awards As Oppenheimer Sweeps 96th Edition

Sports Personalities Who Have Won Oscar Awards As Oppenheimer Sweeps 96th Edition

Edwin Kiplagat
March 11, 2024 at 1:57 PM
  • The 96th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre were memorable
  • Biopic Oppenheimer dominated the evening with multiple wins
  • Sports personalities like Kobe Bryant have won the award before

The 96th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 10.

Biopic Oppenheimer dominated the colourful event, taking home several awards in the major categories.

Some of the biggest sports personalities have won Oscar awards.

Kobe Bryant, 96th Academy Awards, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Curry.
Kobe Bryant, winner of the Best Animated Short Film award for 'Dear Basketball,' poses in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez.
Source: Getty Images

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan, and Avengers star Robert Downey Junior took home the biggest awards.

Sports was represented at the awards show with NBA legend, Dwyane Wade and tennis icon, Roger Federer gracing the red carpet. Here are sports stars who've won an Academy Award.

Sports stars with Oscar awards

Mathew A. Cherry

The former NFL star won an Oscar for his animated short film "Hair Love" in 2020. Cherry spent three seasons in the NFL before leaving in 2007.

The seven-minute animated short documents an African American father's attempt to do his daughter's hair for the first time, per ESPN. Cherry dedicated the award to the late Los Angeles legend Kobe Bryant.

"'Hair Love' was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation, and we wanted to normalize black hair," Cherry said.

Cherry had predicted in 2012 that he'd win an Oscar. In 2020, his dream came true. He is now a television director and has worked with established stars, Jordan Peele and Ava DuVernay.

Kevin Durant & Mike Conley

The two NBA veterans served as executive producers for "Two Distant Strangers," which won the Academy Award in 2021 for best live-action short.

The film tells the story of a black man, played by actor and rapper, Joey Bada$$, who gets stuck in a time loop and relives a lethal encounter with a police officer.

It was written by Travon Free, who also co-directed with Martin Desmond Roe, per USA Today.

Steph Curry & Shaquille O'Neal

Curry and O'Neal were executive producers in “The Queen of Basketball”, which won the Academy Award for short subject documentary in 2022.

The film tells the story of Lusia Harris, the first woman to score a basket in Olympic women’s basketball history. Moreover, she was the first woman officially drafted by an NBA team. Utah Jazz selected her in 1977.

The late Harris was the first black woman inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In the 1970s, she played a key role in Delta State University's three consecutive national championships. She was part of the USA team that earned a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

The Golden State Warriors star was involved in the film and even wore sneakers to bring more attention.

Kobe Bryant

In 2018, the Lakers icon became the first former professional athlete to win an Academy Award. Bryant's Dear Basketball won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

The six-minute film is based on a poem he wrote in 2015 when he announced his retirement from the NBA.

"I don't know if it's possible. I mean, as basketball players we're really supposed to shut-up and dribble but I'm glad we do a little bit more than that," Bryant said in his acceptance speech

The Hall of Famer retired after 20 years in the NBA, all with the Lakers, won five NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVP awards, one regular-season MVP and was an 18-time All-Star.

In January 2020, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

Bryant's murals continue to inspire

On January 26, the basketball world mourns the third anniversary of Bryant's untimely demise. He died with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in 2020.

Since his tragic death, the basketball icon has been honoured worldwide. Murals of Bryant and Gianna were painted on streets and courts to eternalize them both.

Even in death, his influence still endures. From LA to the Philippines, artists worldwide have painted murals of Bryant and Gianna to honour them, as Sports Brief reported.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.