It happened again: Another college basketball player has suffered an on-court sneaker malfunction.
This time, Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie fell victim, with his Nike Kyrie 4 sneaker splitting during Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup against Florida State.
In an interview with The Spokesman-Review, the 6’10” star revealed that a piece of his shoe came loose with the game down to its final minutes. Luckily, a media timeout came with just over two minutes remaining, giving Tillie time to slip on a fresh pair of kicks.
“The sole was sticking out, so I had to change shoes,” Tillie said. “[The manager] had to run super-fast.”
The junior forward said he had experienced the same problem before but plans to continue wearing the shoes. The portion of the sneaker that broke was reglued.
Blown-out sneakers have been a big storyline in NCAA hoops this year.
Zion Williamson, the Duke freshman projected to go No. 1 overall in the draft, suffered from a split shoe in a high-profile February game against rival North Carolina. The incident led to an immediate dip in Nike shares and left the 18-year-old temporarily sidelined with a knee injury. After Williamson’s Nike PG 2.5 PE malfunctioned, he switched to the Kyrie 4 — the same shoe that broke for Tillie last night.
On Feb. 26, an Adidas sneaker blew out on the court. The shoe in question was the Adidas Harden Vol. 3, worn by Indiana forward Justin Smith.
In Gonzaga’s case, the shoe malfunction had no impact on the outcome of the game. The Bulldogs defeated FSU, securing a spot in the Elite Eight. They will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 4 p.m. ET today.
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