Nice Kicks got to sit down with Chicago Sky PG and Jordan Brand athlete Dana Evans on her signing with the Jumpman, what she keeps in her rotation, and the significance of being a Jordan Brand athlete in Chicago. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
NK: The first question I always ask is, what is your sneaker rotation currently looking like? What’s typically by the door or what’s a go-to sneaker for you?
DE: My favorite go-to sneakers are Jordan 1s, can’t go wrong with them, I think those are just classics. I also love the 11s and 4s too.
NK: And what was the last sneaker that you picked up?
DE: Honestly, I don’t even keep up no more because I get sent so many. I just get them as they come, really.
NK: What a flex, must be nice when boxes arrive from Jordan Brand.
You grew up in Gary not too far from Chicago. What was your relationship with like Jordans growing up?
DE: So for me, I always was a sneakerhead, I’ve always been in love with shoes. My dad is the reason behind that because he’s always loved Jordans, so I always wore Jordans. I was one of the freshest kids in school all the time with my J’s.
NK: On my research and just Googling, and I found a photo of you back in high school rocking some Steel Air Jordan 10s.
DE: Yeah! I think I’ve had almost every number, at least the ones that were released or dropped.
NK: Is there any specific model or certain Jordan that has a nostalgia value for you?
DE: The Air Jordan XX3 for sure in Black. Those were like the first Jordans that I started actually playing in because I used to just only wear my Js for off the court.
NK: And you know, being a Chicago athlete now and being part of the Jordan Brand family, it’s a pretty big deal. I think it’s only what you, Michael Jordan and I believe Dexter Fowler were the only three were the only Jordan Brand athletes to play professional sports in Chicago. Michael Jordan’s influence over the city is huge, so what does that mean to you? And what was the feeling like when you officially signed to the Jordan Brand family?
DE: When I officially signed, it was surreal. It really just still didn’t seem like it really happened because this was always like a dream for me. Even before Maya Moore signed to Jordan Brand, I always told my dad I want to be the first girl to sign with Jordan. So for me to actually sign it was like a dream come true. Being in Chicago, being signed to the Jumpman, it’s huge because I feel like I’m the focal point behind Jordan Brand and I think that’s pretty dope.
NK: Jordan Brand put on this 4-week Summer Series 3v3 event for non-profits and establishments in Chicago and you were the commissioner for the tournament. With crowds lining up around the block and seeing the city show up for the Summer Series, what does that mean to you and what is it about Chicago that makes it different?
DE: To be the Commissioner of Jordan Brand Summer Series was amazing and something I truly appreciated it. Chicago is the epicenter of Jordan Brand, this is where it all started so it means a lot. Summer Series was able to show not only the sneaker culture but Chicago’s basketball culture as well. With so much happening in the news, what Rich Palmer and Gabrielle Nottage did shined a light on the city.
NK: On the court, do you wear test sneakers at all before breaking them out for a game?
DE: So for me, I just told them to send me different models to get a feel for them. But I feel like all the Jordans I’ve tested out are super comfortable and light, so I have no complaints.
NK: As far as a performance aspect of a shoe, is there a feature from a basketball performance sneaker that is the most important thing to you?
DE: I would say the comfort level and protection around my ankle. I do like wearing low tops but when I do wear something that’s high, like the Zions, they’re perfect for me because they still protect my ankle as well, but they’re like really comfortable.
NK: I went through Getty Images and went through what you wore on court all season. You wore the Air Jordan 36, 36 Low, Zion 1, and Westbrook’s Why Not .5. Is there one sneaker that you wore this past season that was your favorite?
DE: The 36s and the Zions were probably my favorites. The Zions are really really comfortable, your foot just slides in it and the 36s have really good support around the ankle.
NK: Last question, being a Jordan Brand athlete that comes with a lot of Jordan Brand perks. Obviously, Player Exclusives are a huge part of that. When Jordan Brand approaches you about a PE, is there a specific sneaker that you would want for on the court and off the court?
DE: On the court? I would definitely want to design probably some 36s because I think you could just get really funky with the colors in there and mix it up. And off the court, I would definitely love to have some Air Jordan 1 PEs.
Big thanks goes out to Dana for sitting down with us and Greg Jones and Rich Palmer for making this happen.