- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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With dozens of retro, modern, new and used basketball shoes in his own collection, former North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall was asked about a year ago if it was his goal to design his own hightop.
“Not my own shoe,’’ Marshall told ESPN.com then. “My dream, from a shoe perspective, is to be on Team Jordan one day.”
And now he is.
Jordan Brand announced Tuesday that Marshall (a first-round draft pick by the Phoenix Suns in June) as well as fellow NBA rookies Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Taylor have signed multiyear endorsement deals.
“We are thrilled to add these four great athletes to the Jordan family,” Jordan said in a prepared statement. “We feel like the work ethic and commitment to excellence that each of these young men personify is a perfect fit for what we stand for. We are looking forward to what they can accomplish on the court and in their respective communities.”
Marshall first became a self-described “sneaker-head” when he was a kid, often getting up early on Saturday mornings to stand in line with his dad for the newest pair of Jordans. Last season, en route to setting the UNC and ACC single-season assist records, he often wrote about his kicks on Twitter.
“What I do for fun, is I collect shoes,’’ he said a year ago. “Some people collect trading cards, hats. I collect shoes. I research them, I try to find out info about them.
“There are shoe books, websites, you can learn where the shoes come from. Jordan has shoes that are made after cars and stuff like that, that the average person might not know. And you can research them, and it adds more value, sentimental value, to the shoes.”
This Jordan announcement comes several weeks after former teammate Harrison Barnes, another one of UNC’s four first-round draft picks in 2012, apparently joined Team Adidas.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.
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