At Nike, basketball is more than just a game. It’s a culture, an opportunity to break barriers, build community, and shape the future. Demonstrating its commitment to serve the next generation of hoopers – of all genders – Nike is proud to introduce the newest signature Basketball collection from one of the game’s brightest and most influential stars – Sabrina Ionescu.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek pre-brief during NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, where we sat down with Sabrina herself, and the process behind bringing the Sabrina 1 to life as she revealed her new line – highlighting Nike’s commitment to serving the next generation of hoopers. Monica McNutt, the talented basketball analyst, hosted the panel in which we heard how Ionescu played an active role in creating her signature collection to serve all who love the game. She joins the growing team of women who have partnered with Nike to develop signature collections with deeper meaning, including Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and Naomi Osaka.
The Sabrina 1 is made to serve players like Ionescu who want to accelerate and cut with quickness on both sides of the floor and still feel fresh in the fourth quarter. To accomplish this, Nike designers focused on increasing comfort and support while keeping the shoe lightweight. The shoe features full-length Nike React cushioning and a top-loaded Nike Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. This combination provides energy return and responsiveness, while a stabilizing shank in the midfoot helps players stay balanced. A midfoot band system and lockdown cables help the foot stay secure over the footbed. At a starting price of $125, the Nike Sabrina 1 provides a more accessible footwear option for all communities and athletes.
Going behind the design with Nike’s very own Footwear Designer, Ben Nethongkome, he shared how it was inspired by Ionescu’s national heritage, the intricate embroidery patterns on the Sabrina 1 forefoot and eye-stays pay homage to traditional Romanian art and architecture. The shoe’s design is highlighted by a dotted “i” that wraps around the top and bottom outsole of the shoe. The wraparound detail ends in a dotted “i” on the heel — a detail that pays respect to her last name. On the medial side of the shoe, a vertically slanted Swoosh represents the barriers that Ionescu has broken throughout her career, and a hidden “Anyone, Anywhere” quote serves as reference to Ionescu’s unmatched competitive spirit as well as her belief that dreamers can come from anywhere.
The Sabrina 1 is already game changer, but when you dig deeper to the aspect of innovation, it makes you appreciate the signature shoe even more. Using data-backed research from thousands of athletes – both male and female – as well as specific feedback from Sabrina herself, Nike design teams focused on science-led findings to create a do-it-all shoe that is lightweight, comfortable, and supportive regardless of who is wearing it. By honing in on specific anatomical needs and insights that span across genders – including support, midfoot fit, underfoot cushioning, and shoe weight – Nike design teams were able to unlock performance benefits and solutions that serve not just Sabrina, but all basketball athletes. Underfoot, the Sabrina 1 leverages full-length Nike React foam cushioning for a comfortable, responsive ride, while utilizing a top-loaded Nike Zoom airbag in the forefoot designed for responsiveness and quickness without adding unnecessary weight.
Ben even expanded on the three Sabrina 1 colorways and the stories behind them. He explained how thecolorways are inspired by some of Sabrina’s most recognizable traits and characteristics, including her energy, electricity, and fierce competitiveness. IONIC: “Ionic” not only plays on her last name, but also represents the energy and electricity that Sabrina brings to both the court and her community. MAGNETIC: The art of Sabrina’s craft and her energy draws people in – from fans who watch her games night-in and night-out, to youth that she serves in her community. SPARK: “Spark” represents the electric spark that she brings every time she steps on the court, lighting up her game and her teammates around her.
The fact that it’s not limited to the signature shoe itself but Sabrina is additionally releasing an entire apparel collection is even more exciting to look forward to. Created in collaboration with Sabrina with a focus on all-inclusive performance and lifestyle pieces with something for everyone, Sabrina’s first signature apparel collection delivers premium comfort and style for all. The collection, launching in adult sizing with select pieces available in Plus sizing, includes a hoodie, tees, shorts, and crossbody bag. A special innovation comes through in one of the most important pieces of equipment for basketball players: game socks. The collection debuts the Nike Unicorn Sock – Nike’s first sock to use Dri-FIT ADV materials, being exclusively introduced in Sabrina’s collection. Made with at least 80 percent recycled materials, the sock is designed to provide cushioning, compression, traction and Achilles support for explosive movements.
Inspired by Sabrina’s ability to do it all for four quarters – whether it’s scoring, rebounding, or passing – the Sabrina 1 shoe is built to be a tool to help enable players to get up and down the court quicker and with less fatigue. The best aspect of it is that inclusive of apparel, accessories, and the all-new Sabrina 1 shoe, Sabrina’s signature collection has something for everyone, and is the latest step in hers and Nike’s journey together to grow the game for the next generation and fuel its culture both on and off the court. The Sabrina 1 and signature apparel collection release later this summer on nike.com and at select retailers.
We can’t wait to get our hands (and feet) on these amazing pieces, and it took so much for us to have to keep this release a secret. We are so grateful to the Nike family for extending an opportunity for us to have this conversation, hear Sabrina and her design team walk through what it took for them to make this happen, and hold the results of that hard work and dedication that resulted in the Sabrina 1 signature shoe and apparel collection. When dreams become your reality, the sky isn’t even the limit. We’re looking forward to seeing her put them in motion on the court this season too. Be on the lookout to cop yours!