February 20, 2019. A night when the entire country held its breath for what felt like eternity.
The reason? A blown-out basketball shoe.
President Barack Obama, Ken Griffey, Jr., Blue Devils fans and the world watched as star Duke freshman Zion Williamson fell to the court and suffered a knee sprain after his left foot burst through his sneaker as he planted his foot on the court during his team’s opening possession.
Barack Obama pointing out the fact that Zion’s “shoe broke” will forever go down in history pic.twitter.com/pVFqEBgbFo
— ment nelson (@mentnelson) February 21, 2019
Williamson wouldn’t return that night — or for the rest of his only college season — and the scare was enough to make the basketball world wonder: what kind of shoe could possibly contain this man mountain, literally named after Jerusalem’s holy Mount Zion?
It was widely speculated that, since Zion had burst through a Nike sneaker, he wouldn’t ever sign with the Swoosh. Indirectly that prediction came true, but only because he inked the second-biggest rookie sneaker deal in history when he signed with Jordan Brand later that summer.
Now, finally, we’re about to see the results of that partnership with the 4/23 release of the Jordan 1 Zion, built to corral one of the most unique players in the game.
The mid-cut silhouette is built atop a full-length Air strobel, a structure and support layer that sits between the midsole and the sockliner, also found in Kevin Durant’s signature models as well as the Cosmic Unity line.
A Zoom Air unit stacked under the forefoot offers the player extra responsiveness whether they’re playing on the hardwood or the blacktop, while higher sidewalls and a two-loop band keep the foot secure and stable.
Like so many Nike Basketball silhouettes before it, the Jordan Zion 1 will debut in a black/white colorway featuring a sockliner bearing his name, gold Jumpman and “ZW” logos contrasting the black tongues, and icy blue translucent outsoles.
UPDATE, 4/22: The Jordan Zion 1 ‘Black/White’ releases in Men’s sizing in limited quantities on 4/29 at jdsports.com.