Zion Williamson to debut Jordan Brand sneakers, Zion 1, tonight: ‘This is surreal’

Zion Williamson dribbles the ball during a game against the Washington Wizards.
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will debut his signature line of Jordan Brand shoes Tuesday night.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Zion Williamson always wanted to be a professional basketball player. He also wanted something else, something obtained by only the most elite players.

He recently related the story of telling his parents of his career choice as a young child.

“My stepfather, he was like, ‘Son, you can have your own shoe if you work hard enough,’” Williamson recently told the Undefeated.


According to writer Aaron Dodson, Williamson could not have been more decided in his response.

“I want my own sneaker,” he told his stepfather.

The former Duke star achieved his pro-basketball goal less than two years ago when he was drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. And his second goal came to fruition Tuesday when Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, unveiled the Zion 1 line of sneakers.

The Zion 1 features an elongated Z, similar to the one Williamson has etched into his hair, along the sides.

Williamson told his parents “if somebody walks into a store, I want them to know it’s my shoe,” he told the Undefeated. “So, for me, it’s about the ‘Z.’ That’s my look. That’s my story. That’s me.”

The shoes will come in four color combinations — the black and white Gen Z (available Friday morning); the blue and orange ZNA (May 5); the multicolored Noah, inspired by Williamson’s younger brother (May 19); and the Marion, named for his South Carolina hometown (May 26).

With Anthony Davis nearing his return, the Lakers once again got a reminder of how much they miss him and LeBron James in a 111-97 loss to the Utah Jazz.

April 19, 2021

“We really wanted to make sure these first four colorways were an embodiment of who he is as a person. Super humble family guy and super quiet,“ Jordan Brand senior color designer Kelsey Amy told Sports Illustrated. “Those are things the consumer just doesn’t know about him, so we kind of wanted to tell those stories.”


Williamson, the first Generation Z athlete to have a signature line with Jordan Brand and Nike, will debut the Zion 1 on Tuesday when the Pelicans host the Brooklyn Nets at Smoothie King Center.

“As you get older, you realize it’s tough to actually get your own shoe,” Williamson told the Undefeated. “This is surreal. I’m only 20 and I’m about to unveil my first shoe. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I’m hype, man. I’m just hype for it.”