Forest Hills’ player Parker Desjardins played in NBA player Paul George’s fourth signature Nike shoe “PG3.” These orange and silver shoes were made in collaboration with NASA.  Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Players in the National Basketball Association seemingly wear new sneakers every game.

The boom in sneaker culture in the NBA has made its way through hip-hop circles, as well, with platinum recording artists like Travis Scott and Drake having their own signature shoes.

There are Twitter pages dedicated to hyped sneaker releases, and Nike has perhaps the most popular sneaker app “SNKRS,” which releases a shoe at a certain time and gives buyers a chance at other exclusive releases.

Basketball players in Maine have taken note of the recent popularity rise, and they wore some crazy shoes during the high school tournament.

Forest Hills’ Parker Desjardins wore NBA star Paul George’s fourth signature Nike sneaker, the PG3. But not just any PG3’s, the ones that were made in collaboration with NASA.

From Nike’s website: “Often, PG sums up his vision for the future with a single quote: ‘Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.’ This sentence wraps around the heels of his new signature shoe, the Nike PG 3.”

For Desjardins, who previously wore the PG2’s, the NASA pair was instantly needed when it was released.

My dad and I saw them on Instagram, and so we went on Nike.com and they were sold out, so we went on Ebay and found them,” Desjardins said. “I had PG2’s and really liked them, so when I saw the 3’s came out and they had a cool colorway, they matched our team colors, so I figured I might as well get them.”

Desjardins has had a variety of different shoes in his past. Paul George and Kobe Bryant have made some of his favorites.

“I was playing in the Kobe AD NXT 360’s, the yellow ones, during the regular season,” Desjardins said. “I got the PG3’s at the start of the playoffs. Before this year I had PG2’s in purple, I had a whole bunch of Kobe’s. I like cool colorways, I don’t like black and white, boring shoes.”

LeBron 11’s “Christmas.” Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Storm Jipson of Edward Little rocked grey Puma Clydes this season. Rapper Jay-Z is the new creative director for Puma Basketball as it jumps back into the basketball sneaker world this year, with NBA stars like Demarcus Cousins and Terry Rozier being at the front of the resurgence.

Jipson wanted to stick out on the court, he always has. In middle school he saw his friends with shoes that stuck out and wanted to join.

I saw my buddy and he had a pair of ‘Breds’ on, Jordan 11 lows, and I was like, ‘Those are pretty sick. I want to have cool shoes and I want to be noticed, too,’” Jipson said. “Then I bought a pair of 11 low ‘UNC.’ Then I just started collecting shoes along the way. … Every type of shoe, and my collection grew pretty big.”

The Pumas were perfect for Jipson this year because not many people have gotten their hands on them yet.

“I tried to find shoes that no one else had,” Jipson said. “Puma for basketball shoes I think is kind of fun, and no one sees people wearing those so I thought I’d find something new.”

Austin Brown, Ethan Brown and Storm Jipson of Edward Little wear three different colorways of Jordan 11’s. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal

Jipson and teammates Austin and Ethan Brown all have “Concord” Jordan 11’s. While Austin has the “Wolf Grey” colorway and Ethan has the “Georgetown” colorway, Jipson saw the 2018 Concords that were dropping in December and knew he had to have them.

“I needed those ones so I texted my mom and she bought them on the SNKRS app when they dropped and gave them to me for Christmas,” Jipson said. “I texted her and said, ‘These are the pair of shoes that I need.’ They really stick out.”

The Concords will be on the feet of Jipson next winter for his senior season.

Boston Celtics’ star Kyrie Irving’s fourth shoe, the “Kyrie 4,” has been a popular shoe in the Maine high school basketball tournament. With a myriad of different colorways, they’re easily bought at retailers and online.

Irving is aware of the popularity of his sneakers and has worked with nike to keep the prices low to let the shoes be available to a wider audience.

“It’s a fight every single time but I’m so adamant that it’s affordable as much as possible,” Irving said on Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping” series on YouTube. “But at the same time, it’ll move the price-point up after the sale, which I’m appreciative of.”

With sneakers on the rise, I don’t think that this year’s tournament will be the last hyped editions.


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