Duke and Kentucky headline the class of six Nike schools that will carry on Kobe Bryant’s legacy through footwear this season.
More than three years after his passing, Kobe Bryant‘s brand is still growing.
Vanessa Bryant formally announced on Tuesday evening that six Nike schools — UConn, USC, Kentucky, Oregon, Duke, and LSU — will partner with the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and wear Kobe Bryant’s sneakers this season.
Each school is already under contract with Nike and is expected to play in and have access to Nike Kobe Protro product during the 2023-24 college basketball season.
This official announcement comes on the heels of Kentucky coach John Calipari sharing a care package from Vanessa and Natalia Bryant that commemorated Gigi Bryant through the “Mambacita” Nike Kobe 4 Protro and her Mambacita jersey.
Each program that Vanessa listed has a direct tie to Kobe and the Bryant family.
Famously, Kobe would’ve likely attended Duke had he gone to college, later developing a strong bond with former coach Mike Krzyzewski as a member of Team USA. The late Laker legend was also close to UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who spoke at Kobe and Gigi’s celebration of life.
Additionally, USC and Oregon have long laced Nike Kobe sneakers due to regional relationships and strong Nike ties.
At the moment, it’s unclear whether the selected programs will don Kobe’s famous Sheath logo on their uniforms or what the additional partner perks will include.
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