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Kentucky Basketball to Wear Kobe Bryant Nike Sneakers

  • The University of Kentucky is the first school selected for Vanessa Bryant’s Mamba Program in partnership with Nike.
  • Players will reportedly wear Kentucky-themed Kobe sneakers for the 2023-24 basketball season.
The University of Kentucky is the first school selected for Vanessa Bryant’s Mama Program in partnership with Nike.
Syndication: The Courier-Journal

Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late basketball great Kobe Bryant, has picked the University of Kentucky basketball team as the first member of her “Mamba Program” with Nike.

The Wildcats will wear exclusive Kentucky-themed Kobe sneakers and apparel this upcoming college basketball season, according to Jack Pilgrim of Kentucky Sports Report. The report did not specify whether this activation will extend to both or either of Kentucky’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. 

“This is the first partnership with any university,” Kat Conlon, executive director of the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, said per Kentucky Sports Report. “Coach Calipari and Kobe Bryant had a very special relationship, so anything we can do with the foundation that continues to tell the stories of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, we are all game for it with the foundation.”

The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in memory of Kobe and Gianna “GiGi” Bryant following their tragic deaths in a January 2020 helicopter crash.

Special uniforms featuring the Mamba logo worn by Kentucky are a reported possibility for the partnership’s future. “Several other programs are expected to join the fold over the course of the multi-year rollout,” wrote the Kentucky Sports Report.

Nike announced plans in June to re-launch Kobe Bryant’s signature shoe line. The Basketball Hall of Famer also appears on the cover of the new NBA 2K24 video game.

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