With Conference Tournament week underway for a myriad of teams that ultimately leads up to the “Big Dance” of the NCAA Tournament, it’s an exciting time for hoops enthusiasts. However, as many basketball fans would agree, this time of the year has a certain nostalgia as well, as we all get caught up reminiscing about the great players of years past.
Yesterday, we took a look at those players with our College Kicks On Court Classic feature involving the Big East. Today, we’ll chronicle the Big Ten that includes the likes of the Fab 5 and recent NBA lottery picks such as D’Angelo Russell.
To see for yourself, scroll through the page below to enjoy.
College: Michigan (1991-1994)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Air Dynamic Flight, Nike Air Maestro, Nike Air Force Mid, Nike Air Flight Huarache, Air Jordan 9
Much like Magic Johnson or Michael Strahan, Jalen Rose has shown prospective athletes how to dominate your post-playing career as Rose embarks upon becoming a multi-faceted media mogul. However, during his tenure in both the collegiate ranks and professionally, he set the bar on being transcendent amongst his peers.
As a vital member of the iconic Fab 5, Jalen introduced the world to the Nike Air Flight Huarache amongst a myriad of additional Nike Basketball silhouettes such as the Nike Air Dynamic Flight.
College: Ohio State (2014-2015)
Notable Kicks On Court: Air Jordan 2, Air Jordan 10 “Bulls Over Broadway”, Air Jordan 13 “Grey Toe,” Various Nike Kobe & LeBron models
D’Angelo Russell is suddenly starting to solidify himself as the star that the Lakers had hoped upon selecting him with the #2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. After hitting an array of three pointers against the Brooklyn Nets, Russell seems poised and ready to take the mantle from the living legend that is Kobe Bryant.
However, it’s quite surreal to think that around this time last year, he was merely a freshman at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to another berth in the NCAA Tournament. Becoming an award finalist in many categories, Russell would be known for his flashy style and stellar kicks such as the Air Jordan 13 “Grey Toe” and the Air Jordan 10 “Bulls Over Broadway.”
College: Michigan State (1997-2001)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Shox BB4, Reebok Velocity DMX, Reebok Question, Reebok Answer III
During his time in the NBA, Charlie Bell was one of those figures that you were always certain had been in the league for about 76 years. He would always show up to destroy your team with timely shots and heady defense, while you couldn’t understand why your squad didn’t have the foresight to sign him.
During his time in East Lansing, Bell would help secure a National Championship alongside the likes of Mateen Cleaves and Mo Peterson, while also rocking an array of Reebok and Nike Basketball kicks.
Robert “Tractor” Traylor
College: Michigan (1995-1998)
Notable Kicks On Court: Air Jordan 13, Nike Air up High, Nike Air Flight Max
Much like Alex Smith of the NFL, Robert Traylor’s professional career will forever be marred by the draft decisions of his respective team. Selected highly by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft, “Tractor” Traylor would be dealt soon-after to the Milwaukee Bucks for Pat Garrity and this German prospect called Dirk Nowitzki.
I phrase the previous sentence that way, because that’s what many draft pundits felt at the time as Traylor’s stellar and dominant career at Michigan seemed to bode well in his favor. However, although his career in the NBA was productive it was dwarfed by the generational impact of Dirk. However, Traylor’s legacy lives on with his dope footwear and impact at UM.
May you rest easy, Big Fella.
College: Michigan (1991-1993)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Air Unlimited, Nike Air Flight Huarache, Nike Air Force Max
Each and everytime I see Chris Webber color commentating games, I’m usually hoping and wishing for his guest host to bring up Jalen Rose and then chaos ensue. That particular notion is rather perplexing to many hoops enthusiasts as these two “brothers” were once members of the iconic Fab 5.
Hailing from the Detroit suburbs, Chris Webber was by far the most highly touted prospect coming out of his class in which he arrived on campus in style rocking such models that included the Nike Air Unlimited and Nike Air Flight Huarache.
College: Michigan (1999-2000)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Air Flightposite
Plenty of people forget that Jamal Crawford spent time in Ann Arbor as his brief stay as a Wolverine helped him get selected within the first round to the Chicago Bulls. With his lanky frame, silky scoring ability and notable ball handling abilities the Seattle native would sport the Nike Air Flightposite on occasion.
Venturing to the NBA, Crawford would spend time with Reebok and Brand Black.
College: Michigan (1995-1999)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Air Penny 1, Nike Air Max Uptempo, Jordan Jumpman Team One
Louis Bullock may be a niche name to many, but his plethora of notable Nike Basketball silhouettes while at Michigan was vast and very versatile. For starters, he would don the Nike Air Max Uptempo, as well as the Jordan Team One in Wolverine hues of Blue and Gold.
Going forward, Bullock would spend time overseas and competing in the Spanish League in which he would nab league finals MVP in 2005.
College: Indiana (2002-2005)
Notable Kicks On Court: Air Jordan 12 “Flint Grey,” Nike Zoom Ultraflight
It’s hard to imagine how dominate the duo of Deron Williams and Bracey Wright had to be during their days in the Dallas suburb of the Colony, Texas in which they shared a High School backcourt. Both venturing off to Big Ten universities, Bracey Wright would be a fixture in Bloomington during the early 2000s with his sharp shooting touch and savy navigation through the painted area.
He also did a stellar job at rocking the “Flint Grey” Air Jordan 12 early on in his Hoosier career.
College: Ohio State: (2006-2007)
Notable Kicks On Court: Nike Zoom LeBron IV Ohio State PEs
The Portland Trailblazers have such a tortured history of almost. “Almost” selecting Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft and “almost” selecting Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft. Now while that notion seems accurate with revisionist history, during the 2006-2007 NCAA season, plenty considered Greg Oden to be the next Bill Russell.
Although that comparison never became true unfortunately do to injuries, Oden’s time in Columbus will forever be celebrated as he helped lead Ohio State to a national championship appearance as a freshman in 2007 against Florida.