Sabrina Ionescu made headlines last year when she signed an exclusive shoe deal with Nike. The deal brought excitement to the women’s shoe game and fans were anticipating what collabs Sabrina and Nike might come up with. I asked Sabrina what it was like to work with Nike for the past year. “I love working with them. I think everything that Nike stands for on, off the court, the field, whatever sport you play. I think every Nike athlete can attest to just the support and love that they feel from such a great kind of ambassador of whatever it is they want to be. I think it is really awesome to see and be apart of this. Growing my career on and off the court and into a person, into a leader, into being an inspiration and mentor for a lot of younger generations. I am super excited to have them helping me along the way,” Ionescu explains. The partnership between Ionescu and Nike has grown into a new collaboration, The Nike Air Zoom Greater Than Series.
The Nike Air Zoom Greater Than Series will be launching on March 31st and the excitement can be felt around the product. This series of footwear is inspired by the voice of the athlete to solve real on-court problems. The in-depth research Nike put into the series brought more insight around three main movements of basketball: RUN, CUT, and JUMP. Three different design elements were also focused on for the series: fit, ride, and traction. While focusing on all these different elements, materials were gathered from Nike Running (Breaking 2 Footwear), Global Football (Mercurial Football Boots), and previous Basketball footwear models. The three different shoes being released have a unique configuration of Air Zoom Strobel to enhance the benefits of the shoes.
Sabrina talked about what it meant to share her insights on the design materials and innovation to create the next generation of sneakers, “It’s amazing. It’s humbling. I feel honored to be able to share what I find important in a shoe. Especially playing at a high level on court and what I think is important for not only me but any basketball player that is cutting a lot, jumping, running, creating space as they’re on the court. Just being able to have a shoe that’s comfortable and allows them to do that without kind of sacrificing one or the other. That is exactly what the GT Cut is and I am excited for everyone to be able to put their feet in it, try it, and see what they think.” Sabrina mentioned the GT Cuts are going to be in the top of her on-court shoe choices after their release.
She has several favorite Nikes on and off the court besides the GT Cuts including the Kobes, Hyperdunks, Kyries, Air Maxes, Blazers, and Air Forces. She mentioned she really loved any Nike off the court and is a big sneakerhead. Of course her favorite release from the past year was the Kobe Grinch release. We can’t wait to see Sabrina rocking the Kobe Grinches and GT Cuts on the court this upcoming season.
Sneaker culture in the women’s game has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. Ionescu has seen and felt the growth of the league and the culture even after such a short time of being in the league. “It’s crazy. It is really mind blowing to see how the women in the W support each other, how we support other generations of women’s basketball players, and just athletes as a whole. What we are doing to kind of change sport culture and culture around women in general. I am super proud to just be able to be a part of such a great league that values us as who we are and is always finding ways to keep changing and being the best role models we can be in society.” Sabrina adds she was able to see it first hand during her time in the bubble and being around so many of the greats. She is excited to be a part of a league that will continue to create change and make it better for future generations to come.
To wrap up my interview with Sabrina, I asked her what Made for the W means to her and she had some high praise. She explained, “Everything! I remember being in college and always going on the Instagram page seeing what they are posting. I think just having that representation for women across the board is something that we need. I think it inspires us to want to be better, want to do better for one another and to have that support system amongst us all and obviously on social media and in life is a huge part of our success. It is that backbone and something we can always rely on.” Representation is so important to growing the women’s game in sneaker culture and beyond. The GT Series collaboration shows just that.