Selection Sunday is merely days away as prospective teams look to secure tournament births within the waining moments of the latest college basketball season. As the selection process slowly approaches, we here at Nice Kicks continue with our look at some of the top sneakerheads college basketball has witnessed over the years with a profile of the SEC within our College Kicks On Court Classic feature. Headlined by the likes of Devin Booker, John Wall and Ben Simmons, this list is vast and potentially controversial to some.
To see for yourself, scroll through the page below to enjoy.
Rajon RondoRajon Rondo in the Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2k4 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Rajon Rondo in the Nike Air Huarache 64 Rajon Rondo in the Air Jordan 13 “Neutral Grey” (photo by Elsa via Getty Images) Rajon Rondo in the Nike Zoom LeBron III (photo via Red’s Army)
College: Kentucky (2004-2006)
Notable Kicks on Court: Nike Zoom LeBron III, Air Jordan 13, Nike Huarache series
Although Rajon Rondo’s career arc is rather eclectic and strange to say the least – there is no denying his respective impact at the point guard position. A notable member of the Kentucky alumnus circle, Rajon spent a ton of time in Nike LeBron silhouettes during his time in Lexington while also rocking a “neutral” hue of the Air Jordan 13.
Upon entering the league, Rondo would switch things up and sign with Reebok and then eventually Nike. However, now he is with Chinese brand Anta.
Devin BookerDevin Booker in the Just Don x Air Jordan 2 Devin Booker in a PE of the Nike LeBron 12
College: Kentucky (2014-2015)
Notable Kicks on Court: Just Don x Air Jordan 2, Air Jordan 11, Nike LeBron 12 PE
Plenty consider the latter stages of the 2015 NBA draft to be the cream of the crop of this past season’s “new employee selection” in which Devin Booker would help lead the charge. Venturing to the desert and being immersed within the chaotic mess that is the Phoenix Suns this season, Booker has been a bright spot as he has averaged 22 points-per-game for the month of March in which he has had two outings of 30-plus points.
In addition, Booker caught the eye of many while he was in “Kentucky Blue” as his appearance in the Just Don x Air Jordan 2 lead to Pierre Jackson calling him and Tyler Ulis “savages.”
James WhiteJames White in the Nike Zoom Hyperflight
College: Florida (2001-2002)
Notable Kicks on Court: Nike Zoom Hyperflight
Before heading to Cincinnati to play under coach Bob Huggins, James White was firmly entrenched in Gainesville playing with coach Billy Donovan and company. Although he would only be at UF for one season, he would rock a vibrant take of the Nike Zoom Hyperflight that was prominent during the early-2000’s.
While his kicks in the SEC were rather formidable, James’ arrival at Cincy would ascend his sneaker game to higher heights, much like his leaping ability.
Corey BrewerCorey Brewer in the Air Jordan 8 “Chrome” Corey Brewer in the Air Jordan XX1 Corey Brewer in the Nike Air Penny 1 “Orlando”
College: Florida (2004-2007)
Notable Kicks on Court: Nike Air Penny 1, Air Jordan XXI, Air Jordan 8
Corey Brewer has had one of those perplexing careers in which he has been “successful,” but not that proverbial “superstar” that his draft position would warrant. Nonetheless, this defensive stalwart for many Western conference teams has been rather niche in his approach to footwear within the league, opting to stay with more under-the-radar brands.
However, while at Florida he was one of the best sneakerheads in SEC history rocking an array of Air Jordans and Nike basketball staples.
Willie Cauley-SteinWillie Cauley-Stein in a PE of the Nike LeBron 12 Willie Cauley-Stein in the Air Jordan 13 “He Got Game”
College: Kentucky (2013-2015)
Notable Kicks on Court: Custom Air Jordan 11, Nike LeBron 12 PE, Air Jordan 13
Remember when Willie Cauley-Stein thought it would be okay to change his last name to Trill? As a Southerner, that was almost a proverbial “strike” against the talented big man. However, his notable footwear throughout the years has been very intriguing as he rocked a custom Air Jordan 11 during last year’s NCAA tournament, while also enlisting various retros such as the “He Got Game” Air Jordan 13.
His love for kicks didn’t stop upon entering the league as he recently tweeted his desire to have every Jordan ever made. In fact, two of each in which he could hoop in one and stash the other.
John WallJohn Wall in the Nike Hyperize John Wall in a Kentucky PE of the Nike Hyperdunk
College: Kentucky: (2009-2010)
Notable Kicks on Court: Nike Hyperdunk, Nike Hyperize, Nike Air Max LeBron VII PE
During the 2009-2010 season, John Wall continued to dominate the point guard position as he was the unequivocal #1 overall pick within the 2010 NBA Draft. On a team that featured Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins, this squad would venture deep into the tournament but fall short and ultimately fail to make an appearance in the Final Four that many had hoped for.
All in all, Wall would don a variety of in-line Nike Basketball silhouettes such as the Nike Hyperdunk and the Nike Hyperize, as well as a UK PE of the Nike Air Max LeBron 7.
Tyler UlisTyler Ulis in the Just Don x Air Jordan 2 Tyler Ulis in the Air Jordan 13 “CP3 Away”
College: Kentucky (2014-Present)
Notable Kicks on Court: Air Jordan 13 “CP3 Away,”,Just Don x Air Jordan 2, Nike Kyrie 2
Tyler Ulis has solidified himself as one of the top point guards in the nation as his playing time has increased dramatically in year two under John Calapari. Utilizing a variety of hard-to-get silhouettes, Ulis has been spotted in the Just Don x Air Jordan 2, along with PEs from Chris Paul and the latest iterations of the Nike Kyrie 1 & 2.
Furthermore, Ulis has also worn custom Air Jordan 11s during his time on the court for the Wildcats.
Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson in the Air Jordan 6 “Oreo” Jordan Clarkson in the Air Jordan 11 “Playoff” Jordan Clarkson in the Air Jordan 14 “Wolf Grey”
College: Missouri (2013-2014)
Notable Kicks on Court: Air Jordan 11, Air Jordan 6, Air Jordan 14
Jordan Clarkson has really emerged as someone the Lakers or 29 other NBA teams could count on to solidify their respective backcourt. Scoring 20-plus points in the last two outings for the Lakers, Clarkson’s kicks on the hardwood have arguably upstaged his stellar play as he’s been seen in a litany of Air Jordans, which is similar to his time at the University of Missouri in which he rocked the Air Jordan 11 and Air Jordan 6, on occasion.
Although Clarkson doesn’t have a sneaker deal as currently constituted, his play this season and style could certainly warrant one.
Ben SimmonsBen Simmons in an iD model of the Nike LeBron 13 Ben Simmons in the Nike LeBron 13 “Akronite”
College: LSU (2015-2016)
Notable Kicks on Court: Nike LeBron 13
Ben Simmons is currently suffering from what I consider to be “prospect fatigue”: an affliction in which a prospect has been the clear-cut favorite for so long that people begin to nitpick their respective game relentlessly. Despite his terrific numbers and winning SEC Freshman of The Year, there is growing speculation that Simmons may not be the#1 pick.
Matt WalshMatt Walsh in the Air Jordan 12 “French Blue”
College: Florida (2002-2005)
Notable Kicks on Court: Air Jordan 12
Matt Walsh may be the most niche name within our list, but his time spent in Air Jordan retros certainly caught our eye and places him formidably amongst SEC greats. Helping the Gators reach the second round during the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Walsh would go on to play for the Miami Heat and then build a lengthy career overseas.
As of September of 2015, Walsh stepped away from the game and announced his retirement.
Kasey HillKasey Hill in the Air Jordan 4 “Laser” Kasey Hill in the Air Jordan 14 White/Cherry Red
College: Florida (2013-Present)
Notable Kicks on Court: Air Jordan 14, Nike Air Max LeBron 7, Air Jordan 4
Coming out of the prestigious Montverde Academy, Kasey Hill seemed to be the perfect “one-and-done” prospect for then Florida coach Billy Donovan. Fast forward to present day and Hill is a steady starter for the Gators as he reaches the latter stages of his junior season.
Although his tenure has been up and down, Hill’s footwear throughout his career has been elite as we’ve seen the guard rock the Nike Air Max LeBron 7, Air Jordan 14 and Air Jordan 4 “Laser.”