The Los Angeles Sparks guard’s newest exclusive sneaker will be auctioned off to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles.
Ever since being named to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game in 2014, where she set the game’s assists record, WNBA star Jordin Canada has built a relationship with the Ronald McDonald House.
After signing with Jordan Brand in late 2020, Canada received the esteemed opportunity to create her own player-exclusive editions of the company’s latest flagship sneakers, allowing her to bring her story to the hardwood.
Now, she’s connecting the dots between the two, and highlighting her relationship with kids at the Ronald McDonald House in her native Los Angeles.
Her newest PE of the brand’s Air Jordan 38 celebrates the creativity and artwork of local LA area kids from the Ronald McDonald House, bringing to life their colorful artwork atop Canada’s sneakers that she’ll debut on-court during the Sparks matchup against the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night. The kids and their families will be in attendance for the occasion, with Canada and Jordan Brand hosting them in a Crypto.com Arena suite.
Canada will also be autographing and donating four additional pairs of her Air Jordan 38 PE, with all of the proceeds from the upcoming charity auction benefiting the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles. Boardroom caught up with Canada ahead of the debut to discuss the “Art Night” inspired sneakers, the impact Jordan Brand is having on the women’s game, and how they’re looking forward to “changing the culture of women’s basketball” together.
Nick DePaula: How did the process of creating this PE come to life?
Jordin Canada: Every year, Jordan Brand gives me the opportunity to create a PE. A couple of years ago, when I was in Hungary, I came up with this idea to highlight the Ronald McDonald House, but I didn’t have the chance to do it [for that WNBA season] because everything was last minute.
I really wanted to do the idea, and we came up with doing an “Art Night” at the Ronald McDonald House with the kids. I got to talk to the kids, learn about their stories and their families, and connect with them. We had this big canvas, and we painted whatever they wanted to draw.
We had our canvas, and then Jordan put it on a shoe, and they came out really well. I’m super excited to wear these and they definitely brought my vision onto the shoe. Some of the kids will be at the game, and it’ll be their first time at a Sparks game, so I’m excited to see them and hopefully, we can get the dub.
NDP: And you’ll also be auctioning off four pairs of the shoes to help raise additional money for the House?
JC: Yeah, and the proceeds from whatever the auction makes will be going back to the House. I’m just hoping to impact and give back as much as possible to them. I’ve been really intentional about creating a relationship with them, and this is just one of the ways that I can give back.
NDP: You were part of that ‘next wave’ of WNBA signings that Jordan Brand made in late 2020. What’s it been like being a part of the brand and seeing the strides that Jordan has made in the women’s game?
JC: I love it! We’re continuing to grow, and I love that every single one of us that’s a part of the Jordan Brand has our own uniqueness, but at the same time, it’s very much a family. Any time we get together, it feels like a sisterhood. That’s what I love about the Jordan Brand.
There’s a family aspect, but also, we’re able to have a uniqueness in sharing our abilities on and off the court. The excellence that Jordan represents, we can showcase that with our own talents and also come together to have a common goal in sharing that excellence.
NDP: I heard that about a week after you signed with Jordan Brand, you found out that they were going to become the sponsor of UCLA.
JC: I was so mad! I was like, “Oh my god, if only we could’ve been.” When I was in college, before I got drafted, I had told myself, “I want to be part of the Jordan Brand.” That was because of Maya Moore, and I wanted to be part of it. When I left UCLA, a couple of years later, they signed UCLA. It’s nice now, cause they’ll send me all of the UCLA editions, and now I get the best of both worlds.
NDP: That was something that stuck out to me with the Air Jordan 38. Kiki Rice at UCLA debuted that shoe, and now you and a lot of the W players are headlining it, ahead of the men. What’s it been like being a headliner for such an iconic sneaker franchise?
JC: It’s been great, and that’s one of the things that I love about Jordan. They give us the opportunities to headline new products and be able to showcase them ahead of the men, I think it’s just an amazing opportunity and really helps us with the brand, individually, in getting us out there. They’re putting us at the forefront of things.
NDP: You also debuted the Zion 3s on-court.
JC: I did! I really love his new shoe. It’s crazy how he just reinvented his whole look of his shoe. I didn’t wear the first two, but the look of the third one, I absolutely love. They were super comfortable and I love the colorway, the look of it, and the style of it.
NDP: When it comes to PEs, what’s it been like being involved in that process, and what are some other stories you’re looking to tell through your footwear?
JC: It’s so cool that I get to create a PE, and share a bit about my personality, the things that I enjoy, and what I’m about. In the future, I’m trying to find ways to pay homage to my upbringing, whether that is my AAU teams, TV shows that I used to like as a kid, and somehow paying homage to the people that helped me get to this point. That’s something that I’m looking forward to doing in my upcoming PEs.
NDP: We saw Jordan Brand also take over the latest WNBA All-Star Game with the Jumpman logo jerseys and a full collection. When you look ahead to what’s in store for Jordan, what are you most excited about?
JC: I’m looking forward to changing the culture of women’s basketball — not just on the court, but off the court as well. With the things that Jordan is doing and the women’s empowerment that they’re bringing, I really love that. I’m glad to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to changing the culture and bringing a different look to where things have been.
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