From the East Coast to the West Coast, Nike’s newest Air Force 1s are celebrating basketball culture in style.
To celebrate two renowned basketball tournaments, Drew League and NY vs NY, the brand created a pair of fresh takes on its iconic Air Force 1 silhouette. The Nike Air Force 1 “Drew League” and the Nike Air Force 1 “NY vs NY” both are set to drop on July 17 at 10 a.m. ET via the SKRS app with a $110 price point.
Inspired by the Californian league that hosted Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others, the “Drew League” iteration takes the best of West Coast style and forms it into a sleek sneaker. Coming atop a classic all-white colorway, the sneaker uses timeless black accents to highlight the tournament’s script and branding on the tongue, insole and lateral heel area.
The Drew League was established in 1973, almost a decade before the AF1 debuted in 1982, as a way for young men and women of South Central Los Angeles to earn vital life lessons through the game of basketball. Though it started originally with just six teams, nowadays the league includes up 28 “invitation-only” squads to show off their skills.
Coming from across the country, the NY vs NY tournament brings the spirit of the city with a streetball-style competition featuring top men’s and women’s talent from across all boroughs. That same tenacity can be found in the Air Force 1 “NY vs NY” with its statement-making black leather Swoosh overlay and bright branding on the tongue patch inspired by the city courts. Countered by a textured black rubber outsole, the sneaker comes complete with the tournament’s name etched across the heel on the lateral side.
Kicking off in 2017, the Nike-hosted NY vs NY tournament brings out the best young athletes from across Manhattan. Spread out with several different leagues across the five boroughs, the challenge honors emerging talent on and off the hardwood with streetball games played in local courts across the city. The inaugural tournament featured appearances from major names including Carmelo Anthony and Isaiah Washington, and has since expanded to become a highly anticipated event of the season.