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    Two-time WNBA champion and league MVP A’ja Wilson is getting her own shoe

    The WNBA star announced the pending arrival of her long-awaited Nike signature on Saturday, the same day that the Las Vegas Aces played the Puerto Rican national team at South Carolina. The preseason matchup was a homecoming for Wilson, who played for the Gamecocks and grew up in Columbia —making it a fitting moment to drop the news. 

    Wilson showed up to the arena with a sweatshirt that read “Of Course I Have A Shoe Dot Com,” revealing a URL that redirects to Nike’s website. The sneaker will be called the A’One.

    The shoe — along with Wilson’s signature collection — will arrive in 2025. Having first signed with the athletic mega-brand as a rookie in 2018, the former No. 1 draft pick has reportedly been refining designs with Nike for over a year. 

    “It’s been incredible working with Nike toward a dream of having my collection, and it really is an honor to take this next step and become a Nike signature athlete,” Wilson said in Saturday’s press release. “From my logo to the look of the shoe and the pieces throughout the collection, we’ve worked to make sure every detail is perfectly tuned to my game and style.”

    She told Andscape’s Aaron Dodson that the highlight for her was being able to announce the drop in conjunction with the Aces’ trip to her alma mater and hometown.

    “The biggest thing for me is I get to showcase what I’ve been working on for a couple of years now in my home state, in my home city,” Wilson said. “A place where people watched me grow and I raised eyebrows like, ‘Is she really that good?!’ To then seeing me in college and now in the pros.”

    When the A’One debuts, the 27-year-old will most likely be the 14th WNBA athlete to receive a signature shoe. Current players with active shoe contracts include Breanna Stewart, Elena Delle Donne, and Sabrina Ionescu. Caitlin Clark is next in line to receive a shoe in her new deal with Nike, although the brand has yet to confirm that detail.

    After talk of Clark’s shoe-inclusive Nike deal hit the headlines in mid-April, questions arose around Wilson’s lack of signature footwear, with many pointing to a dearth of Black representation within the recent influx of shoe collaborations. The last Black WNBA player to receive her own shoe was Candace Parker with Adidas in 2010, while Wilson marks the first Black WNBA player to ink a Nike shoe agreement since Sheryl Swoopes in 2002.

    Wilson has been working with Nike on refining her signature shoe design for over a year. (Nike)

    “There’s definitely value in patience,” Wilson told Andscape. “That’s something [South Carolina] Coach [Dawn] Staley has taught me — that some of the best things come from waiting and ‘what’s delayed is not denied.’ That’s something I have tatted on me. That’s something I live through. So it’s something I’m going to stick through.”

    In a news release, Nike said they were “proud to introduce A’ja Wilson as the newest member of the brand’s signature family, marking the next chapter of partnership with one of basketball’s greatest athletes.”

    Wilson is working with the same shoe designer that partnered with Ionescu, as well as Kyrie Irving before the Mavericks shooting guard parted ways with Nike in 2022. Wilson’s upcoming signature collection will be “inspired by her distinctive style, incredible performance, and unapologetic realness,” per Nike. “As one of the most iconic basketball players of her generation, of course, she got a shoe,” they added.

    Wilson’s hopes for the shoe is that girls wearing it can “feel powerful and understand that nobody can stop them from their dreams.”

    “It’s been an incredible ride, but there’s a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders now because it was starting to get hard,” Wilson told Andscape. “But with the movement and growth of the game, I feel like this was the perfect time to say, ‘Hey, I got a shoe on the way.'”

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