The iconic sneakers Grant Hill wore at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta get a special, upgraded re-release this week.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Grant Hill’s iconic second signature sneaker with Fila — as well as his recent appointment as Managing Director of USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team — the brand is now re-releasing a premium, upgraded edition of the white, red, and blue pair the Hall of Famer wore during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Only 50 pairs will be released on Oct. 12 on Fila.com, priced at $248 each with a rich leather upper and elevated detailing throughout.
While the sneaker is most recognizable in its original white and navy patent leather look worn by Hill with the Detroit Pistons, the all-white and navy outsole edition featured during Hill’s gold medal run with Team USA at the Atlanta Games.
Officially named Managing Director this past April, Hill replaces Jerry Colangelo as the head of the Team USA program in advance of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He’ll be tasked with naming a new head coach and guiding Team USA into a new era after the Olympic runs of stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and eventually Kevin Durant have passed.
In the two decades since its original launch, the GH2 has been a staple of Fila’s retro business. Towards the later years of his 18 year NBA career, Hill had also worn both Adidas and Nike sneakers; without an official contract during that span, Fila had retroed the GH2 under the “Fila 96” name.
After being named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, Hill and Fila forged a new “lifetime deal” that would continue to ramp up the retro releases of his past signature line with original naming and packaging.
“Fila was there for my first professional steps on the court,” Hill said at the time. “We have now come full circle, and I am thrilled to be a part of the family once again.”
After signing with the brand ahead of his Co-Rookie of the Year debut season in 1994, Hill instantly became the face of the Italian brand and one of the footwear industry’s top sellers. His first GH1 model sold more than 1.5 million pairs as he became an NBA All-Star in his first season.
Thanks to his star power and championship pedigree coming out of Duke, Hill became just the fourth NBA player to begin his career with a signature shoe. The GH1 was also the best-selling signature debut since the Air Jordan 1 in 1985.
Even following that strong start, the GH2 sneaker took the brand to an entirely new trajectory the following year. Priced at $89.99 at retail, the shoe generated sales of $135 million during the 1995-96 season. 2Pac notably wore the white and navy patent GH2 in the booklet of his “All Eyez On Me” double album released in February ’96, helping the design reach instant classic status in sneaker culture.
Decades later, the GH2’s staying power still remains. It accounted for nearly 10% of all Fila sneakers sold as recently as 2016.
That means the special re-releases don’t end here. Following the Team USA edition, Fila will look to continue to honor Hill’s legacy with the brand by celebrating more of the most beloved designs he wore throughout his Hall of Fame career.