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The NBA Star Who Outfits HBCU’s Miles College With His Signature Sneakers

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hbcugameday.com

When the Miles College men’s and women’s basketball teams take the floor, they have a new look thanks to the work of Golden Bears athletic director Fred Watson and NBA superstar Ja Morant.

Morant, who is out for the remainder of the NBA season a shoulder injury, has generously outfitted the Golden Bears and the Lady Bears with his signature shoe – the Nike Ja 1 – for Miles’s 2023-24 season. The kicks will made its Miles debut at Knox-Windham Gymnasium last month, when the Golden Bears host a matinee against Rust College.

Watson, who has a long-standing relationship with Morant’s father, Tee, said the programs appreciate the kindness and generosity from the Morants.

“I’ve known Tee for quite some time. That’s my guy,” Watson said. “I made one call to him and within minutes, I was on the phone with Ja’s shoe rep setting up the arrangement.”

Morant, the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2019-20 and a two-time All-Star, didn’t just let others do the work. He made sure to connect with members of the Golden Bears after the deal was done.

“Once we received the shoes, Ja made a point to say some positive words to our guys during a phone call. Our guys may have, otherwise, not been in a position to receive that type of encouragement from a player of his stature. That was very meaningful and appreciated,” Watson said.

While having the connection with the NBA star, Watson let it be known that it was just as important for the Golden Bears to highlight Morant’s work.

“A lot of times, the media doesn’t show this side. This is a great young man doing uplifting work in the community,” said Watson, who is attempting to lead the Golden Bears to a fourth Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in five seasons.

“Ja is with us now. He is our supporter in our quest to repeat as SIAC champions. His closing words to us was “win one in my shoes.””