No. 1 NBA Draft Pick Markelle Fultz’s Sneakers Were Made of Basketballs — Here’s How They Happened

Markelle Fultz Basketball Shoes
Markelle Fultz wore shoes made out of basketballs.
AP/Rex Shutterstock

How do you make a standout style statement at the NBA Draft, where eyes and cameras are guaranteed to be glued to players’ footwear? If you’re No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, you go all-out with custom sneakers made of basketball leather.

Fultz, who was selected first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, doesn’t have his own brand like fellow draftee Lonzo Ball. Instead, he got in touch with former pro skater Jimmy Gorecki, who runs marketing for up-and-coming handmade-footwear brand No.One.

“Back in April, we received a direct message from Markelle asking if he could commission us to make his draft ceremony sneakers,” Gorecki wrote on Instagram.

According to Gorecki, Fultz tasked No.One with a seemingly simple yet intricate project: The baller wanted a pair of the brand’s Bravo shoes, but he wanted them to made out of real basketballs.

“We were on the horn with Horween Leather the very next day sourcing the real article of NBA game balls,” Gorecki wrote of the process. “After we created a custom last for Markelle, we cut the pattern and did some personal embossing on both the tongue and heel tab.”

The result is a fully handmade basketball-leather sneaker, which had everyone talking Thursday night.

Although Fultz’s custom basketball kicks are a custom, No.One offers other variations of the Bravo on a made-to-order basis. For more information, visit no-one.la.

After @vegas_jones let @markellefultz and @tapbundles know who made the speckled pony hair Bravos back in April, we received a direct message from Markelle asking if he could commission us to make his draft ceremony sneakers. Kenneth set up the conference call amongst all of us a couple days later. I assured both gentlemen that they were in the hands of one of the industry's best in @no_one_system founder/creative director Mark Gainor. Markelle'a design cue was pretty simple yet super important in terms of the sneakers outcome. A Bravo built from real basketball. We were on the horn with @horweenleather the very next day sourcing the real article of NBA game balls. After we created a custom last for Markelle, we cut the pattern and did some personal embossing on both the tongue and heeltab. The back heeltab displays Markelle's personal monitor #F2G, which stands for "Faithful 2 to Grind." We pulled it off in the time period we had to put it together and the sneakers were delivered safely to Markelle and Kenneth's hometown. Believe you me, Trust the process.

A post shared by @jimmygorecki on

Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz AP/Rex Shutterstock

Want more?

Nike Should Have Markelle Fultz Wear These Sneakers When He Makes His NBA Debut

Jordan Brand Did Something Crazy to the First-Ever Luxury Basketball Sneaker

LeBron James Practices for Game 5 of the NBA Finals in $5,000 Nike Sneakers