Snoop Dogg thinks Kobe Bryant was a ''great leader and a great role model''.

The 48-year-old rap star - who is a well-known fan of the Los Angeles Lakers - has heaped praise on the basketball legend, who died in a helicopter crash in January, aged 41.

Snoop reflected: ''The younger generation of basketball players all look up to him.

''The younger generation rappers all look up to him.''

Snoop also admitted to looking up to Kobe, even though he was older than the late sports star.

He told 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show': ''Even a rapper like myself - who was older than him - I looked up to him because he showed me ways on how to be a better person, a better father, a better man, you know, going from that to this.

''He was just a great leader and a great role model, and we going to miss him dearly.''

Meanwhile, it was recently confirmed that Kobe will be ''embraced within the In Memoriam segment'' at the Academy Awards on Sunday (09.02.20).

The basketball legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine people killed when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas on January 26, and it has been announced that he will be honoured within the In Memoriam section of the Oscars this weekend.

Stephanie Allain, a producer for the Oscars, said: ''I think the In Memoriam segment has always been an important part of the show and this year is no different in that we're honouring all of our community that we've lost.

''I think what's really appropriate is that Kobe was part of the film community, and as such, he will be embraced within the In Memoriam segment.''