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Naomi Osaka says Kobe Bryant helped her through ‘toughest parts of life’ as she scoops Glamour Women Of The Year award


Naomi Osaka says Kobe Bryant inspires her (Picture: Rex/Reuters)

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka paid tribute to tragic basketball icon Kobe Bryant as she scooped the sports prize at the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards 2021: The Gamechangers.

Describing how Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash last year — took her under his wing, Japanese big hitter Naomi, 23, said: ‘He helped me get through some of the toughest parts of my life as an athlete.

‘I remember telling him I wanted to be like him, and his response was, “No, be better.” I will never forget that.’

The Australian Open champ joined Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham and Marcus Rashford in the winners’ circle at the virtual bash.

Rashford bagged the ‘gamechanging man’ prize, while Posh won the fashion gong.

Ahead of the ceremony she revealed her son Romeo, 18, plans to follow his dad David into pro football by training at his Inter Miami club. ‘Romeo has been training with the team every day,’ said Victoria, 46. ‘Ultimately that’s what he wants to do.’

Victoria Beckham was also among the winners (Picture: PA)

Kylie was dubbed the event’s icon, while It’s A Sin star Lydia West scooped the rising star gong.

See the awards at glamourmagazine.co.uk.

From XS to success… Rina overturns Brits ban

Rina has made it possible for Kylie and others to be eligible for a Brit (Picture: PA)

Rina Sawayama has paved the way for the likes of Kylie Minogue to finally be eligible for a Brit award following her own historic nomination.

Until this week, the 30-year-old XS singer was out of the running because she was born in Japan — despite having lived in London for 25 years.

But after Rina criticised the Brits’ rules, she forced a significant change which has now landed her on the rising star shortlist.

‘I am somewhat an outsider at these things,’ she told Guilty Pleasures. ‘I knew this would affect other people — Kylie isn’t eligible to be nominated at the Brits!’

Aussie icon Kylie, 52, has won multiple Brit awards in her 30-year career but only in the international category, despite being half Welsh and a long-time Londoner.

As for Rina, she is stunned she forced such an important change. ‘When I was told I fell to the floor crying,’ she added. ‘I wasn’t eligible, and now I am. I am so happy and shocked.’

The Brit Awards with Mastercard will be aired on ITV from the O2 Arena on May 11.

MG whizz! Geri’s a sporty Spice in her old car

Geri Horner was reunited with her old car

The wheels of fortune have turned for Ginger Spice.

Geri Horner’s F1 boss hubby Christian has tracked down the red MGB Roadster she flogged when she huffed out of the Spice Girls in 1998. Geri, 48, admitted on her Rainbow Woman web series she always regretted getting rid of the sports car, adding: ‘The nice husband that I have surprised me for my birthday and bought my car back.’

Got a story?  

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE : Vanessa Bryant says she’s ‘finding the light in darkness’ after losing husband Kobe and daughter Gianna

MORE : Vanessa Bryant hits back at Evan Rachel Wood for ‘vile’ tweet labelling late husband Kobe a ‘rapist’

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