Nike sent a team to Durham to make shoes specifically designed for Zion Williamson.
Zion Williamson made his much anticipated return to the court Thursday against Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, and he picked up right where he left off.
The Blue Devils freshman, who missed the team's final five regular season games due to an injury sustained when his Nike PG 2.5s blew out, led all scorers with 29 points in addition to 14 rebounds and five steals, as Duke advanced with a 84-72 victory.
The sneakers on Zion's feet for his return: a specially designed pair of Nike Kyrie 4s.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
As reported by ESPN's Allison Williams, "These are not regular Kyries. These are custom shoes made by Nike. They sent a team to Durham to work with Zion to address his specific needs."
Nike also released a statement on Nike's return, which reads:
“We’re thrilled to see Zion returning to the court. After working closely with the Duke Basketball team to examine the issue, we are confident this is an isolated incident.
“We continue to work with Duke, and all of our partner programs, to ensure we are providing the best product for their athletes.”
As a result of last night's win, the Blue Devils will now take on rival UNC in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday night. Duke has lost twice to the Tar Heels this season, but they were without Zion in both of those contests.
Needless to say, the Blue Devils are a much different team with the 18-year old superstar in the lineup. Tonight's game, airing on ESPN, is scheduled to tip at 9:00pm ET.