Nike is known for their innovative technology when it comes to sneakers, b it air, self-lacing, fit technology, you name it – Nike is on top of their game. So what did Nike do with their latest Sneaker? They made this new sneaker out of 25% sustainable material by weight, lower to the ground and specifically focused on making this sneaker a basketball sneaker. Nike is calling this movement, Cosmic Unity. Guess who was able to get her hands on this innovative sneaker first? Las Vegas Aces WNBA Superstar, A’ja Wilson. We had the chance to chat with A’ja yesterday, far before the release of the Nike Cosmic Unity Green Glow. Not only is she a star athlete, she understands what it means to be kind and give back to the planet.
At what age did you know that you wanted to play basketball, not only as a sport, but also as a lifelong career?
A’ja: “Well the first time I got active with basketball was probably age 13. I was just chillin’ on the bench, because I wasn’t really good at it. Then about 16 years old, I started to think I like this sport. I could play in college and yes, I can make a career out of it. Somewhere in between there, I fell in love with basketball.”
Who were your inspirations growing up? How has that influenced the goals you set for yourself, on and off the court?
A’ja: “My inspirations on the court have to be Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie. Those ladies are just incredible – the way they carry themselves, the hoopers that they are, and they were just great and I was like oh, I can be them, I can be just like them. Off the court, it would have to be my parents and my grandparents. They were all I saw and all I knew…the way they handled situations. All they sacrificed for me, made me who I am today, and I am forever grateful.”
So, we know you got a sneak peek at the new Cosmic Unity collection. How do you feel the footwear will translate to assist your game day performance on the court?
A’ja: “I think these will translate well for me…they are a lightweight shoe that I love. I love a lightweight shoe. You need that out here on the court, especially in our league. And also, I think it’s just good for the environment, I think that is key – with the materials that they used, because we want to live on this earth for a long time and we want to take care of it. So those were 2 real big factors for me. And I am excited to be one of many to play in this shoe.”
It’s really cool that Nike picked basketball as the FIRST sport to unveil the Nike Cosmic Unity, as the colorways look absolutely amazing. Which colorway have you decided on for your FIRST game in 2021?
A’ja: “Hmm, I have to go with the gray. It’s like a nice little soft gray and I think it would look really good with our uniforms. And I could just add a little razzle dazzle from there. I think the gray ones are gonna be FIRE! That’s all I think about sometimes – does this look good with my uniform? (laughter).”
How necessary do you think it is to have platforms such as Made for the W further amplifying the women involved in bringing sneaker campaigns and releases to life?
A’ja: “When you see the WNBA grow and Made for the W grow, and come in and take over, I think it’s key. We see it on the men’s side happen all the time. But remember women have sneaker culture too! This is a part of us as well. And when you have platforms like Made for the W, it means a lot to us… it means that people are hearing us and we can just amplify our voices. I always love seeing it up and down my TL. It always puts a smile on my face because I feel we deserve it as well. I am excited for you guys to bring out this shoe as well.”
In true Made for the W fashion, I have to ask what are your absolute go to kicks? What are the kicks you cannot live without?
A’ja: “Oh gosh! Okay! I love a pair of Air-Force One’s…I gotta keep a good rotation there.” Me-A Fresh pair right? “Right…no crease, gotta be walking like a penguin. (laughter) And I love Off-White Prestos. I think that’s the best shoe and Prestos are already comfortable. Those are ones I can just slide my feet in and still look cute and fashionable, even if I have to run to the grocery store.”
We are very excited about seeing A’ja play in the New Nike Cosmic Unity sneaker, which are currently on the Nike SNRS app with the release date of 2/26/2021. It’s also amazing that A’ja is concerned about saving the planet through recycling and sustainability. She’s definitely an inspiration to young athletes that look up to her. We wish A’ja continued success in her WNBA career and we know she will succeed at anything she chooses to do.