Aces Star A’ja Wilson Announces Signature Shoe With Nike

Two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson finally gets her signature Nike shoe.

The long-awaited news came Saturday morning as Wilson’s two-time champion Las Vegas Aces prepared to face the Puerto Rican national team in a preseason game at Colonial Life Arena in South Carolina. The former national champion Gamecocks donned a sweatshirt for her arrival at the arena that read, “Of course I have a Dot Com shoe,” a URL redirected to Nike’s website with the announcement.

Wilson’s shoe will be called “A’One.”

Nike named Wilson among the brand’s signature athletes, a group that includes Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka and Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty. The shoe and the rest of Wilson’s signature collection will arrive in 2025.

“It has been incredible working with Nike to realize my dream of having my collection, and it is truly an honor to take this next step and become an iconic Nike athlete,” Wilson said in a statement. “From my logo to the look of the shoe and pieces in the collection, we worked to make sure every detail is perfectly suited to my game and style.”

After working with Nike for over a year to develop his signature collection, Wilson requested the news in conjunction with the Aces’ trip to Columbia, South Carolina, which is his hometown.

“The most important thing for me is to be able to show what I’ve been working on for a few years now in my home state, in my hometown,” Wilson told Andscape’s Aaron Dodson. “A place where people watched me grow up and raised my eyebrows like, ‘Is she really that good?!’ Then seeing me in college and now in the pros.”

Wilson will be the 13th WNBA athlete to own a signature shoe, with the majority having been issued during the early years of the league’s existence. After a decade-plus hiatus in which no WNBA player got a signature shoe, Breanna Stewart and Puma released the Stewie 1s in 2022, while Nike released the Air Deldon, the shoe by Elena Delle Donne, in 2022 and Sabrina 1 for Ionescu the following. year.

As the Aces won back-to-back WNBA championships in 2022 and 2023, with Wilson establishing herself as arguably the best player in the league and the face of the game, fans asked Wilson to join this selective club – and many have. highlighted the lack of black players included in this recent wave of shoe deals.

Those cries were reignited last month when it was reported that 2024 No. 1 overall draft pick Caitlin Clark is expected to sign a deal with Nike worth up to $28 million that would include her signature shoe.

“Patience certainly has value,” Wilson told Andscape. “That’s something that (South Carolina) Coach (Dawn) Staley taught me: that some of the best things come from waiting and that ‘what is delayed is not denied.’ “It’s something I have tattooed on me. It’s something I live by, so it’s something I’ll endure.”

Wilson’s popularity and impact extends far beyond the courtroom: she has a statue outside Colonial Life Arena, was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2024, and is the author of “Dear Black Girls,” a New York Times bestseller. released this year.

Its cultural relevance is further enhanced by its own signature shoe. Wilson said in a statement that the design process was “really rewarding” and that she didn’t realize how much went into it.

“It’s something that I’ve worked really hard on, and I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand,” Wilson told Andscape. “I didn’t want to just have a shoe. … Because I feel like when people think of me, when people think of my team, they know, ‘We’re going above and beyond. ‘ And that’s what I want my shoe to be.

“It’s been an incredible ride, but a lot of weight has come off my shoulders now because it’s starting to get tough,” Wilson continued. “But with the movement and the growth of the game, I feel like it was the perfect time to say, ‘Hey, I have a shoe on the way.'”

Wilson said in the release that she wanted the shoe to be “light and comfortable for all the hours I spend on the field, and also look great,” adding that she hopes people will wear it on and off the field.

“It’s so exciting to share my signature, a piece of me, with the world,” she said.

Wilson and the Aces, who open their 2024 WNBA season on Tuesday, are hoping to win the league’s first championship hat-trick since the Houston Comets won four in a row (1997-2000). Wilson will undoubtedly be one of the MVP favorites and is poised to lead the U.S. national team in its quest for gold at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *