Tennessee basketball programs are not affected



Middle Tennessee’s basketball program is familiar with the Nike PG 2.5 sneaker.

It’s the same sneaker Duke’s Zion Williamson wore when she exploded in the Blue Devils’ 88-72 loss to North Carolina on Wednesday.

Donovan Sims, Jayce Johnson, Antonio Green and Karl Gamble have worn the shoe at some point this season, according to a team spokesperson.

MTSU is a Nike school.

However, Williamson’s mishap is not of concern to athletic director Chris Massaro.

“Nike has been making a terrific product for years and you think of how many basketball games you play alone (Wednesday) with these shoes on,” he said. “I think their track record really shines as a leader in the footwear industry, I have no doubts that they will look into and see what caused the problem (from Wednesday) and fix it.”

Tennessee, Memphis and Vanderbilt, who also wear Nike gear, are also not concerned about potential injuries after Williamson was diagnosed with a sprained right knee.

“We are in an ongoing conversation with our apparel partners to ensure that the best and safest products are provided to our student-athletes to perform at the championship level,” said a statement from Vanderbilt. “Vanderbilt is proud of its excellent partnership with Nike, we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”

Williamson, wearing the Nike PG 2.5, was injured 33 seconds into the match and did not return.

The Tennessee Sports Department has had no contact with Nike officials.

UT basketball players don’t wear the same sneaker.

“The safety of student-athletes is always very important to us, but the incident (on Wednesday) in Durham did not raise any concerns here,” Deputy athletic director for communications Tom Satkowiak said in a statement.

Memphis basketball players also did not wear the same model of sneakers, according to a spokesperson for Memphis athletics.

Nike also hasn’t made a direct statement to Memphis athletics.

“We are obviously concerned and wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement released by Bleacher Report. “The quality and performance of our products is of the utmost importance. Although this was an isolated event, we are working to identify the problem.”

USA TODAY Network – Drew Hill, Adam Sparks and Mike Wilson of Tennessee contributed to this report.

Contact Luis Torres at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @LFTorresIII.


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