When New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu was growing up, young boys on the court told her she “shouldn’t be playing with [them].” Now, her signature sneakers grace the feet of male and female hoopers alike — and their popularity transcends the sport of basketball.
Ionescu’s shoes, the Sabrina 1s, released Sept. 1 as Nike’s first unisex shoe collection. She and fellow WNBA star Elena Delle Donne are the first women in a decade to collaborate on signature sneaker designs with Nike.
Since their release, Sabrina 1s have been spotted on the court in the NBA. Mikal Bridges, Jrue Holiday, DaQuan Jeffries and Jordan Poole are among the stars seen sporting Ionescu’s sneakers. Even NBA officials have supported the Sabrina 1s.
Sabrina 1s are picking up around the NBA, spotted on: • Jrue Holiday• Mikal Bridges• DaQuan Jeffries• Jordan Poole pic.twitter.com/SPDPQ8qOn4— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) November 1, 2023
Sabrina 1s are picking up around the NBA, spotted on: • Jrue Holiday• Mikal Bridges• DaQuan Jeffries• Jordan Poole pic.twitter.com/SPDPQ8qOn4
Brooklyn Nets forward Bridges rocked Sabrina 1s before their release, wearing them to FIBA World Cup practices and even to Nets media day.
“Yes [I’ll be wearing Sabrinas this season] — pretty much them and I’m going to test out those Devin Booker 1s when they come out, too,” Bridges told The Sporting News.
On July 23, when Ionescu threw a ceremonial first pitch during the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees players were photographed wearing Sabrina 1 spikes in the dugout, and Nike gifted her with a pair to celebrate her accomplishment. Even before their release, Ionescu’s signature shoes had escaped the basketball court.
When designing her sneakers, Ionescu told CBS Mornings that she set out to make a shoe for anyone, regardless of gender — and she hit her mark.
“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,” Ionescu said.