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Sabrina Ionescu joins sports ‘legends’ with signature Nike shoe

Sabrina Ionescu wears her Nike signature shoes against the Las Vegas Aces on Aug. 28. (Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sabrina Ionescu is joining an elite club, and not just because of her stats on the basketball court.

Her Nike signature shoe, dubbed the Sabrina 1, will be released Friday. The New York Liberty guard becomes just the 12th WNBA player to have a shoe bearing her name, and she is just the second woman athlete to receive a signature shoe from Nike in more than a decade. She joins Elena Delle Donne, who released her own shoe last year.

The Sabrina 1s were announced in February, and seven months later they are about to hit store shelves. It’s a huge moment for the girl that grew up playing in Nike Dunks.

“Now, to be able to see my name on shoeboxes and around the world means a lot,” she told CBS Mornings.

On Wednesday, she unveiled the two colorways for her shoe, one titled the Sabrina 1 “Spark” and the other the Sabrina 1 “Ionic.” Both feature a stylized “S” on the tongue and a custom Nike swoop on the inside heel of the shoe.

“It’s been years in the making,” she said, noting that the process has taken three years. “The design has been really fun, partnering with Nike. The swoosh being upwards on the inside is just no glass ceilings, breaking barriers. There are so many hidden designs in the shoe that I’m excited to be able to tell my story to the world.”

Additionally, this will be the first unisex signature shoe collection designed by Nike. The idea to make a unisex shoe was her first request of Nike in the design process, Ionescu said.

“I wanted to create a unisex shoe, so the ability for young girls, boys, men and women to be able to wear it,” she said. “Growing up, I played basketball and there were so many young boys and men that were like, ‘You shouldn’t be playing with us.’

“And so, when I was in the process of designing this shoe I wanted anyone anywhere to be able to put this shoe on and accomplish whatever it is that they wanted to.”

She also joins non-basketball players such as Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and Naomi Osaka to have namesake collections with Nike.

“They’re legends,” Ionescu said. “In their respective sports but also just as people and what they mean to the sports world. I’m super excited to represent Nike and myself and continue to change the game.”