March 31 (UPI) – The Nike shoe of Duke Blue Devils freshman phenomenon Zion Williamson, who exploded in a game against North Carolina on February 20 is missing, according to TMZ Sports.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said Nike officials traveled to Durham, North Carolina after the shoe malfunctioned and inspected the damaged shoe to identify the problem. The shoe’s current location after the inspection is unknown, according to TMZ.
Williamson was asked where the shoe was before the Duke Elite Eight game against Michigan State on Sunday, but the question was redirected to Krzyzewski. Duke’s sports department told TMZ Sports they didn’t know who had the Nike sneakers, and a Nike spokesperson said they had no information on where the sneaker was.
The Williamson Paul George 2.5 PE shoe, despite its current condition, is worth a large sum of money as a collector’s item. The Duke star’s Nike sneaker was valued at around $ 250,000, according to Goldin auctions.
While playing against the Tar Heels, Williamson suffered a sprained knee seconds into the game after his shoe split in half. The freshman phenomenon slipped by planting his pivot foot on Duke’s opening possession, his left foot ripping his Nike shoe.
The 6-foot-7 forward missed Duke’s next five games, but returned to lead the Blue Devils to an ACC title and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Duke qualified for the Elite Eight after victories over North Dakota State, UCF and Virginia Tech. Williamson is averaging 26.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in the NCAA tournament.
The Blue Devils faced second-seed Michigan State in Sunday’s regional final. The Spartans led Duke 34-30 at halftime.