After a fast 18-0 start, the Syracuse Orange dropped their first game of the season, losing to conference rival Pittsburgh on Monday. Despite the loss, the #3 ranked Orange are playing some of the best basketball in the country, and will be one of the names to look out for when tournament time rolls around in a couple of months.
In addition to their top tier on-court performances, Syracuse may be the college hoops team wearing the best kicks. In recent games, we’ve seen everything from Jordan retros to the new Nike shoes for Kobe Bryant and LeBron James on the feet of Syracuse players.
To check out what the Orange and players from other top NCAA programs are wearing, check out this week’s NCAA Watch.
C.J. Fair gathers himself while wearing the brand new Nike Air Max Fly By.
A couple months ago in Denver, I had the chance to chat with Melo about Eastbay and being a Sneakerhead. While I was out there, I was able to watch the 2010 Future Sole Melo M7 category winner Allen Largin present his design to Carmelo. Allen’s hard work paid off as he explained the inspiration, sketches, materials and final design to an impressed Melo. Melo told Allen, “I like it. I like it a lot, man. I can tell that you put a lot of thought, a lot of my inspiration into the shoe.”
After the presentation, Melo gave Allen a unique autographed wooden Future Sole plaque for him to remember his trip by. That wasn’t the only thing D’Wayne and Melo had in store for the 16-year-old from Michigan. D’Wayne pulled out a duffle bag that had three 3-D Z-core models of the redesigned Future Sole version of the M7. The three colorways were Black/Red, Blue/Red/White (paying homage to Melo’s Puerto Rican heritage) and Orange (linking back to Melo’s college, Syracuse). The revamped Jordan Melo M7 Future Sole (which can be seen in the video) features Flywire and a big Jumpman on the side.
Along with seeing Allen’s presentation, I also talked to Melo briefly about how the Future Sole Design Competition came about and his on-going involvement. When discussing the nationwide competition he said, “[Designing shoes] is something I enjoy doing. [Future Sole is] giving high school and college kids the opportunity to design shoes who may never have the opportunity ever again, so that’s how the program started.”
Eastbay is teaming up with three NFL New Yorkers to put on a Football Academy at Sunnycrest Park in Syracuse this month. With their Syracuse roots in common, Tyvon Branch of the Raiders, Jo-Lonn Dunbar of the Saints and Mike Hart of the Colts have collaborated to put on the camp Saturday, June 26th from 9am to 1pm. It’s a non-contact camp that is free of charge for up to 300 kids ages 9 -12.
To register and see details on the camp see below:
Tyvon Branch was born in Syracuse, NY. He had a stellar high school football career ran track in high school at Cicero/North Syracuse. He also won a New York State Track & Field championship in the 100 and 200. Playing for the UCONN Huskies in College he was named All-Big East as a senior. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Last year he lead all defensive backs with 124 tackles.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar was born in Syracuse, NY. He was a running back and linebacker at Corcoran High School in Syracuse. He was second team All-State as a Junior linebacker and first team All State as a Senior running back. After high school he had a bright career at Boston College. In 2006 he was MVP of BC’s Bowl Game where he recovered 3 fumbles and scored touchdowns on 2 of them. He went undrafted in 2008 but then signed with the New Orleans Saints. He saw a bunch of playing time in the last couple seasons however was hurt last year when the Saints won the Super Bowl.
Mike Hart was born in Syracuse, NY. He played high school football at Onondaga Central High School near Syracuse where he had a national record 204 rushing touchdowns. He was second in career rushing yards with 11,045. His high school squad won three national titles with Hart. After a brilliant career at Michigan where he set multiple records, he was selected in the 6th round of the 2008 draft by the Colts. Last year he had a couple carries in Super Bowl XLIV.