words // Ben Schumacher
images// Andi Stempniak
Since entering the league as the 8th overall pick by Toronto in 2012, Terrence Ross has won the Slam Dunk Contest and been a frequent candidate for highlight dunk of the week. In just his second year in the league, Ross is starting to put together a very good all-around game to go along with his incredible athleticism. This included a 51-point outburst against Los Angeles a couple weeks ago where he shot 10 for 17 from 3-point range and added nine rebounds. Ross, an Eastbay Field Tester, is averaging a solid 10.2 points per game this season.
With his highlight-reel dunks and explosive moves on the perimeter, Ross needs a shoe that can hold up to the punishment he dishes out and help take his game to the next level. For these results, he plays in the Nike Hyperdunk 2013s.
“I like the Hyperdunks because they’re light. There are a lot of shoes out there that are a little bulky, but these fit perfect to your foot. The Flywire really helps around the base of your foot, so you don’t have to be really confined to the shoe. It gives you some room to maneuver, so if you plant, you feel more comfortable doing it. You don’t feel like your whole ankle is just going to stop, so these are really comfortable.”
Off the court, Ross stays fresh in gear from Nike’s casual range, including the iconic white-on-white Air Force 1 Low.
This Saturday, Ross will attempt to defend his Slam Dunk Contest crown in New Orleans. Before he takes flight, check out some of his Nike styles and get to know him a little better in our exclusive Field Tested interview videos.
words // Brandon Richard
Who’s the best player in Major League Baseball? With two-straight MVPs and three-straight batting titles, it’s hard to argue against Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Miggy is piecing together a Hall of Fame resume in D-Town, where he’s doing everything it takes to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy back to the city.
Individually, his biggest achievement came in 2012, when he became the first batter to win the Triple Crown (most home runs, most RBIs, highest batting average) since since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Behind Cabrera’s big bat, the Tigers won the AL pennant.
Heading into his 12th season, Cabrera is preparing to win in New Balance baseball gear. With spring training around the corner, we’ve teamed up with the reigning MVP and New Balance for the cover of the latest issue of the Eastbay catalog. Inside, all of the latest baseball shoes and clothing you need before returning to the diamond, like the New Balance 4040v2 Metal Mid. The cleat, decked out in camouflage print, inherits a RevLite midsole that comes from New Balance’s top-of-the-line running technology.
Additionally, Cabrera recently sat down with Eric Thomas for a 1-on-1 interview, in which the two covered a range of topics including hitting tips, confidence at the plate, giving back to the community, handling failure and the three things Cabrera couldn’t live without. You can view each of those video clips below.
And a look at the February cover athlete, two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera. The issue will start hitting mailboxes Monday. You can request your FREE catalog here.
words // Brandon Richard
images // Heidi Hammer
video // Craig Wild
“Not just a fluke — it was just growing man. It was just a lot of hard work, a lot of time put into it and my dream came true.”
That sums up Jason Thompson’s approach to the game of basketball. He’s never been handed anything — going back to his days at New Jersey’s Lenape High School. There, Thompson started as a 6’0″ shooting guard, but saw his height increase by seven inches by the time he led the little-known school to a Group IV state title as an All-South Jersey center in his senior season. The motivation he showed in high school landed him an opportunity at nearby Rider University, where he’d suit up for the Broncs for four years.
In college, Thompson once again demonstrated his commitment to improvement. In four straight-seasons, he increased in averages in points per game, field goal percentage, assists, rebounds and blocks. As a senior, Thompson recorded a line of 20.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.1 steals. He led Rider to the 2008 MAAC Tournament Finals and was named MAAC Player of the Year.
After excelling at another small school, Thompson’s skills and upside made him a lottery prospect in the 2008 NBA Draft, when he was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 12 overall pick. In his rookie season, he worked his way into the starting lineup and led the Kings in total rebounds. He’d go on to replicate the feat in his second year, increasing his averages in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks. After two more solid campaigns, the Kings re-signed Thompson to a five-year contract extension in July 2012.
Now in his fifth season, a lot has changed for Thompson in Sacramento. In five years, the team has been through five different coaches, five different visions, taken on new management and avoided the possibility of relocation. The constant? His willingness to work as hard as possible to be a winner in the league.
It’s all in the preparation for Thompson, and with him on board as one of Eastbay’s newest Field Testers, we recently had the opportunity to catch up with him to find out how he prepares to win. Off court, you can find Jason geared up in his Nike Foamposites and casual Nike clothing. On the court, he prefers performance-oriented Nike basketball clothing and brand new Nike Hyperdunk 2013 sneakers.
Check out our exclusive interview with Jason Thompson above and a few of his Field Tested styles below.
words // Brandon Richard
Meet one of Eastbay’s newest Field Testers — point guard Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets.
Ty is heading into his fifth season in the league, looking to build on last year’s career-high numbers of 17.4 points 6.9 assists and 1.5 steals. As a Field Tester, he offers insight into the gear he wears to play basketball’s most demanding position at the highest level.
A fan of style and performance, Ty switches between a variety of Nike basketball shoes, including the Hyperdunk, Zoom Soldier VII and the LeBron X. He recently told us exactly why the LeBron X has been somewhat of a go-to shoe for him since last season.
“Over the past two or three seasons, I would roll my ankle a lot,” Ty mentions. “The LeBron X helps support my ankle. When I first wore them, I had a good game and they felt so comfortable. I’ve been wearing them ever since and haven’t rolled my ankle once.”
In the video interviews above and below, you can hear more from Ty, including his thoughts on sneakers, Nike Flywire technology and his history with Eastbay.
Also look for the new catalog hitting mailboxes now with Ty on the cover in the Zoom Soldier VII. If you’re not already subscribed, you can request your free catalog here.
words // Taylor Scharfenberg
Our first Fielder’s Choice catalog of the year is hitting mailboxes, and our cover athletes are bringing a double dose of knowledge to Eastbay’s Field Tested program. Now baseball is getting the same position-specific reviews and professional advice that has already helped so many Eastbay athletes prepare to win.
Atlanta outfielders and brothers Justin and B.J. Upton are leading off for Eastbay’s baseball season and excited about being Field Testers for one big reason: helping young athletes get a head start on their game. As Justin explains, “Field Tested is an advantage because you’re able to get a feel for each shoe before you order it. If you have certain qualities you like in a shoe, you are able to find out which one can give you those qualities.”
Having customized gear is key, even for pro athletes. For the 2014 baseball season, Justin and B.J. each picked a different cleat that reflects their strengths. For Justin, it’s the adidas Poweralley Mid, a cleat designed for powerful rotation and comfort. “As a player, I’m explosive. I hit for power and go hard at all times. The first things I look for in a cleat are stability, a light weight, and traction. In baseball, you’re constantly rotating, so anything that makes it easier is a benefit anywhere on the field.”
To maximize his Poweralley cleats at the plate, he also looks for very specific things in a batting glove. “I love a tight batting glove. I want something that fits the hand well, that’s not going to stretch out on you, and is durable. Your batting gloves are for feel and grip, but at the same time, you want them to protect your hands from getting beat up.”
B.J., however, went with the adidas adiZero 5-Tool 2.5 for a lightweight speed cleat that’ll help him get around the bases in no time. He says, “The spikes help my game, especially with speed. Being a centerfielder, you have to be able to run pretty well. Since they’re such light shoes, and speed is a big part of my game, they’re a big part of what I do out there.” Eastbay’s got this cleat in eight colors, including exclusives like black/orange and white/navy.
In addition to his speed, B.J.’s fielding glove is also a key to his game. He told us, “When I look for a fielding glove, I look for size, color, how the leather holds up, and how it feels on my hand. Right now, I’m sticking with a trapeze web in the outfield.”
For more feedback on picking the right cleats, batting gloves, fielding gloves, and more, take a look at our reviews from other elite baseball players. Eastbay Field Testers are constantly providing information on product performance, including attributes like comfort, grip, break in, and more. Once you’ve found the gear that’ll help you dominate the season, fill out your own review to let other players know what you think.
For more on the Upton brothers, go to eastbay.com/JustinUpton and eastbay.com/BJUpton. You can also start finding your gear for the season at eastbay.com/FieldTested. Baseball gear for 2014 has been arriving like crazy lately, so there are tons of new styles and colors to choose from at Eastbay!