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Kobe Bryant went from pro athlete to Oscar winner thanks to his work on Dear Basketball, the animated short film that won in 2018.

Now, he could be joined by Matthew A. Cherry.

Cherry was a wide receiver in the NFL who shuttled between practice squads and active roster for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens after he had a great college career with Akron.

Since he left the league, he became a filmmaker who has directed music videos for some big names and some television shows. He also was an executive producer for Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman. Most recently, he created an animated short, Hair Love, that was a hit both on screen and on the New York Times Bestseller list thanks to a book adaptation.

On Monday, Hair Love was nominated for an Oscar, with the announcement coming from actress Issa Rae, who voiced the film:

Matthew A. Cherry
@MatthewACherry

Wow! And to have @IssaRae announce it! It feels like a dream. Huge thanks to our great team @BruceAlmighteee @Mr_Scribbles @KDRupe @Monica_aYoung @DanielDCrawford @LionForgeDave @CarlForge @lionforge our kickstarter backers & @SonyAnimation for believing in us. @TheAcademy

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Matthew A. Cherry
@MatthewACherry

#HairLove is Oscar nominated!!!!!!!!!!

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You can watch the short right here, and it’s incredible and moving, well worth the seven minutes it takes to watch:

Matthew A. Cherry
@MatthewACherry

#HairLove is live! It’s an animated short film about an African American father learning how to do his daughters hair for the first time. Written & Directed by me, co-directed by @BruceAlmighteee @Mr_Scribbles & stars @IssaRae. @SonyAnimation #HairLove

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SOURCE: USA Today, Charles Curtis

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