Three years ago today, Zion Williamson was sitting in a classroom at Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina. Today, he makes history as the first Gen Z athlete to create a signature shoe with Nike and Jordan Brand. In a recent interview with The Undefeated, Williamson gave fans the first look at the Zion 1 shoe.
"This is surreal. I’m only 20 and I’m about to unveil my first shoe. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I’m hype, man. I’m just hype for it," Williamson told Aaron Dodson.
Picking a shoe deal and launching a signature shoe is not something that Williamson began thinking about when he became a professional. As he puts it, Williamson has been dreaming about something like this for as long as he can remember.
“It goes back to when I was younger,” he explained.
“I told my parents I wanted to have basketball as a job, as a profession. And, from day one, they kept it real with me about how the game works, on and off the court. My stepfather, he was like, ‘Son, you can have your own shoe if you work hard enough.’ ”
Williamson had dedicated a special colorway of his signature to his brother, Noah. Adding to his signature line, the "Marion" colorway will honor the budding star's home state of South Carolina.
“We really wanted to make sure these first four colorways were an embodiment of who he is as a person. Super humble family guy and super quiet," Jordan Brand designer Kelsey Amy said about the shoe's design.
“But one of the moments where he came to life, he worked with his mom to put together a mood board with cut-out images of Jordans he loves and quotes that have inspired him. It was really cool to see this little project for us. Like, what athlete is willing to do that? He took the time to put that together and that moment, at least for myself, where we saw a little bit of a shift and we took so many nuggets from the mood board that 90% of what he presented we were able to present in his footwear."
The first colorway for the signature shoe line will be released on April 23.
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