From a Kyrie co-sign to a team shoe showcase in the G-League, learn how a revered hooper is making a name for himself in the footwear industry.
Few of them imagine themselves battling both stars on the hardwood and in the boardroom.
Langston Galloway, a pro hooper for nearly a decade, has gone toe-to-toe with James and Curry in NBA action. The competitive combo guard has taken his underdog approach to an undrafted entrance to the NBA, playing meaningful minutes for seven different squads.
Early on, he took his Nike Kobes with him from team to team.
A few years back, the Baton Rouge baller decided to call his own number.
While years of hard work had gone into taking basketball’s biggest stage, tons of research and development had also gone into founding a footwear company while keeping his hoop dreams alive.
“Sacrifice is a huge part of my career,” Galloway told Boardroom. “How much do you want to sacrifice to get what you want? My wife brought it up to me when we started Ethics. You can search for people to do a job for you, but why not do it yourself?”
After its on-court arrival, the Ethics lgONE released online in January 2022, soon stocked in an array of colorways worn in action by Galloway.
On Wednesday, its celebrated sequel — the Ethics lgTWO — has launched at retail.
Speaking to Galloway on his new shoe, Boardroom breaks down the parallel paths of the G-League guard’s fight to flourish as a self-made man in both basketball and business.
Langston Galloway might not play in a headband, but he’s a man of many hats.
Since putting on a pistachio pair of Ethics lgONE sneakers in the NBA Finals, the baller who plays both guard spots for the College Park Skyhawks also handles various roles at Ethics.
“It’s a full-time job because I have multiple positions,” says Galloway. “I’m the CEO of the company, but I intertwine with my wife because she’s the COO. I step into operations, selling shoes, we talk about social media, and I’m running multiple positions.”
Between the debut of the lgONE and the arrival of the lgTWO, the humble hooper has bounced around from Brooklyn to Milwaukee, currently calling Atlanta home. Though he’s worn four different uniforms in the last three years, he’s stuck to two pairs of sneakers — both of which are all his.
“My career hasn’t been straight and narrow,” says Galloway. “It’s been ups and downs and twists and turns. That’s why I enjoy this. It’s just another challenge. Let’s throw the ball up and take it from there.”
Like many an entrepreneur or market disruptors, Galloway has no trouble trying new things. Aside from playing in both the NBA and the G-League, he’s a member of the USA Basketball Select Team.
In international action, he’s set records for scoring while also breaking new ground by playing in footwear he founded.
Often, tech titans shake up an industry by breaking rules and coloring outside the lines. While Galloway is both bold and creative, his brand and business are both as ethical as the name suggests.
“All-vegan,” Galloway says of his shoes. “We continued to stay in that market, not adding plastics.”
The respect Galloway has elicited amongst hoopers for both his game and his company feels and appears different than pioneers in the past.
It’s intentional in approach but also aimed at inspiring the next generation to build their own brands.
Such is seen on the Ehtics lgTWO: a low-top look capable of being worn by pro players but aimed at AAU athletes and kids that can’t switch shoes between classes and practice.
“It’s a great stepping stone for youth athletes to create their own narrative,” says Galloway. “This is the story of the underdog and whoever wants to be the next up. Whoever wants to build their own legacy? This is the shoe for you.”
In real-time, Galloway is building a business while removing the veil of his own journey in and out of the NBA. The bumps in the road add character, while his confidence in evolving situations speaks to his spirit.
Though Langston Galloway is the face and feet of Ethics, he’s not going at it alone.
In March 2023, Kyrie Irving’s impromptu unveiling of the Ethics lgTWO in a Dallas Mavericks practice made waves.
Irving, a former signature athlete at Nike who once outsold entire competitor categories, remains one of the most interesting figures in footwear where performance hoops are concerned.
Over the past decade, Irving’s endorsement of his own signature series, a decorated diffusion line, and an admiration for the Kobe collection have put him as somewhat of a savant where the wear-testing community congregates.
Connecting on a cross-country call to Galloway, Kyrie’s curiosity and support for Ethics quickly became one of the biggest marketing moments the company had ever seen.
“Me and Kyrie have played together in Brooklyn and have played against each other for years,” Galloway says. “We had a great conversation one night and the next thing you know? It landed on his doorstep.”
With only one wear, the impact was felt.
“We got a huge injection of people wanting to see what they’re all about and wanting to test them,” says Galloway. “A lot of fanfare overnight.”
Across hoops and sneaker culture, Galloway has long been one to both dive in and give back.
His early NBA days in New York and New Orleans saw him play in NIKEiD iterations of the Kyrie and Kobe lines designed on his own laptop.
Once earning a three-year, $21 million deal with the Detroit Pistons, he pivoted from balling out online and instead inked an agreement with Q4 Sports: a black-owned business out of Los Angeles founded by designer, Quintin Williams.
“My journey has always been about creative control,” Galloway says. “Even when I wear other guys’ shoes, it’s always been about creating or controlling my narrative. I’ve always been about putting out what drives me, what motivates me, and what I’m all about. Most of my customs were about being a ’90s kid.”
By 2021, Galloway’s game took him out west to Phoenix where he was suddenly playing for a contender and also had basketball bread to invest in himself and his family.
He founded Ethics with his wife, Sabrina, and brought on designer Brett Goliff to take his story to new spaces.
“I have to put my foot into everything, but at the same time, I can’t overstep,” Galloway says. “My wife is on the day-to-day and runs everything to a T. We go back and forth a lot. Once I’m done with practice and shootaround? My day is just getting started. I have calls about shipping and maneuvering.”
Having studied sports marketing and communications in college, Galloway’s academic acumen and roundball resume make him quite built for this.
Still, entering an industry run by giants is a heroic task — especially when it’s your second job.
Rather than spend time complaining about how hard it is or fall into a cycle of endless self-promotion, Galloway takes his humble and hardworking approach to basketball back to business and back around.
For many, a G-League appointment wouldn’t be the ideal platform for selling a slew of shoes. Galloway remains chin up and heads down, looking optimistic at every opportunity as a means to season the story.
Shortly after Kyrie rocked the lgTWO at practice, he had the Skyhawks roster test drive the shoe in a game.
“We had the whole team and coaching staff rock Ethics,” says Galloway. “That feedback is huge for me from a brand standpoint. When you have professional athletes wearing them at the highest level and you get good feedback? It only benefits the brand moving forward.”
That forward movement is epitomized by the retail release of the Ethics lgTWO, which is now available online.
It’s a big step for Galloway’s growing brand, but only the beginning.
Selling sustainably sourced sneakers is a higher calling that even billion-dollar brands can’t quite answer.
Despite his station as an independent, Galloway is already doing it, and doing it again.
Launching the lgTWO for a very reasonable $120, the sequel sneaker steers towards modern movements in both basketball and lifestyle. It aligns with where footwear is at and where it’s going.
“From the jump, we were getting into the athletic realm, just trying to figure it all out,” says Galloway. “Shoe 2? We want to tend towards the youth perspective while hitting markets like women athletes. We wanted a low-top perspective so that people off the court can walk around in the shoes.”
Built for ball but considering athletes of all origins, the lgTWO carries a similar charm to its origin, packaged in a sleeker shape.
In recent weeks, Galloway has been taking the lgTWO everywhere from G-League action to pickup play at the Sunday Washed Club.
For months, he’s been wearing Ethics footwear and apparel around Atlanta to get a sense of real-time consumer feedback from a city known for fashion and sports.
“I have a yellow pair,” smiles Galloway. “I’ve been walking around the malls in Atlanta and people are asking, ‘What’s that brand? What do you have on?’ With shoe two, we have a couple of collaborations that will make sense as I get into it. It connects back to me, but also to our fans. Everything is connected.”
Though the pair previewed by Kyrie kicks off the lgTWO retail run, expect to see upwards of twelve different colorways launch all the way into 2024.
Lang let Boardroom know that a Team USA take is coming to celebrate his upcoming FIBA competition, proving it will be a hot summer for both Ethics and its fearless founder.
In the months ahead, Galloway will continue to work on his game and improve his brand. It’s a story unlike any other in the industry, yet relatable to all walks of life.
Most importantly, it’s a story Galloway is writing himself.
“The creative control? It’s bar none my most fun project of all time,” says Galloway. “Basketball will always be No. 1, but this is 1B. They both run parallel, so being able to see both of my babies continue to grow? It’s getting better like fine wine.”
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