College Basketball’s Battle To Become The “Sneaker Champ”

One of the common aspirations of any young ballplayer’s career is to play on one of the biggest stages in the game of basketball. Whether it is in the state championship, AAU tournament or the NBA Finals, one day we’ve all had the dream of hitting the game-winning shot after dropping 50 points on our opponents. For most of us, just emulating our favorite player’s moves that we see them pull off with the ease keeps the hope alive that we’ll one day be able to do the same. One of the deciding factors that give our idols these sometimes G.O.A.T.-like abilities can be isolated in my opinion: their shoes. We’re told about their tireless work ethic, killer instincts and hunger for more, but we rarely get to see any of those intangibles. We see the game-winning shot and the heat on their feet.

This theory of mine has actually been reinforced even more during the NCAA basketball season. With scholarship players bringing out retros, school exclusives and more rare pairs than Sneaker Con, it is more than evident that they’re summoning their inner Mars Blackmon and asking themselves the same question: “Is it the shoes?” With all the upsets, buzzer-beaters and breakout performances this season, it’s hard not to buy into the fact that it’s gotta be the shoes. Teams like Syracuse, UConn, Washington and Arizona – as well as plenty of others – have been seen rocking the type of kicks that most hypebeasts and sneakerheads would consider the holy grail of their collections. (Present company included.) Gilbert Arenas may be the self-proclaimed “Sneaker Champ,” but there are a few college players out there that have definitely been gunning for that title all season.

So with Selection Sunday come and gone and the tourney starting this week, I can only imagine what guys like Kemba Walker, Isaiah Thomas and Scoop Jardine have in store for us. They’ll be doing their best to make sure this year’s Big Dance will be one to remember – with their tremendous talents and tremendous sneaker game. Who do you think is going to be holding it down for their fans and sneakerheads during their tournament this year? Check some of the heat players have been wearing lately:

Washington’s Isaiah Thomas in the coveted Air Jordan III “Black History Month”

Maryland’s Terrell Stoglin in the Under Armour Micro G Blur “Maryland Player Exclusive”

UConn’s Kemba Walker in the Air Jordan 6-17-23 “Aqua” and Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine in the Zoom Kobe VI “Orange County”

Arizona’s Brendon Lavender in the Air Jordan Retro XI “Cool Grey”

Oregon’s Joevan Catron in the Zoom Kobe VI “Grinch” and Washington’s Matthew Bryan-Amaning rocking the Air Jordan Retro XI “Space Jam”

Louisville’s Kyle Kuric doing work in the adiRose “Louisville Player Exclusive”

St. John’s Dwight Hardy stunning Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough in the Air Jordan Retro III “Cement”

Who do you think is going to be holding it down for their fans and sneakerheads during their tournament this year?

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