Synonymous with the USA’s Olympic dominance on the hardwood throughout the 1990s as the team’s official uniform manufacturer, Champion is steeped in basketball heritage. Outfitting collegiate athletes with high-top clad-leather silhouettes and mesh jerseys throughout the 80s and 90s, the North Carolina-based brand dove into the footwear industry alongside NBA Champion and 3-point sniper Glen Rice. Accompanying Rice throughout his tenure with the Miami Heat, Champion has announced a collaborative collection with the 3-time All-Star that celebrates his 15-year career in the association.
Melding fashion and the fast break, the Champion Glen Rice OG Collection celebrates the heralded legacy of the three-time All-Star and NBA Champion by returning the Champion Zone 93 to its original specifications. For the most part, the high-top silhouette remains true to its 1993 construction, a testament to the silhouette’s timeless innovation and design choices. Both the mid and outsole are plucked directly from the archival model while Champion footwear director Ronald Van De Wetering and his team opted to rejuvenate the upper with premium leather materials that were “the perfect fit to pay homage to a legendary NBA career like Glen Rice’s.”
“The original shoe from the 90s was crafted with such precision that we were amazed it didn’t require any updates for fit and comfort. This model was made for the needs of top NBA players that were expecting to wear a shoe that enabled them to perform on the highest level at most challenging circumstances – and we’re proud that it still holds true today,” Van De Wetering said.
Draped in crisp white leather panels, the colorless real estate is met with a consistent amount of pitch-dark contrasts at the heel, inner lining and throughout the sole unit. Underfoot, the model pairs a purposely aged midsole with the model’s original rubber outsole. Stamped with the brand’s classic “C” logo, jet-black branded embroidery takes hold at the heel and the elevated tongue tab, anchoring the colorway’s monochrome palette.
Echoing a collector’s edition level of detailing, both the shoe box and the silhouette’s heel are inscribed with a cursive signature alongside an OG hangtag for added nostalgia. Further elevations appear at the use of a textured TPU and the inner lining’s custom graphic that coats a number of the collection’s ensuing apparel pieces.
“The Glen Rice drop is the perfect example of Champion’s longstanding history of working closely with athletes to create products that are stylish, while helping them perform at their best,” Van De Wetering said. “Overall, we want fans to see this drop as an ode to decades of innovation and quality styles that allow consumers to showcase their personal style from head to toe on the streets and the courts.”
Throughout 2024, we can expect further Zone 93 colorways inspired by Rice’s iconic career and the various teams he suited up for. The Champion x Glen Rice “OG” collection will be released exclusively at champion.com on December 18th for a retail price ranging from $50-$170 USD. In the meantime, the Champion Zone 93 OG and the ensuing apparel collection can be seen ahead in detailed imagery.