INDIANAPOLIS — As part of its “Breaking Down Barriers” collection, Converse has designed a shoe that honors the 1955 Crispus Attucks High School boys basketball team.
That year, the Tigers — led by future Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson — became the first all-black team in the country to win a high school state championship, in any sport.
The project has been in the works for two years, according to Chris Hawkins, the athletic director and boys basketball head coach at Attucks.
“They came out to one of our practices a couple of years ago, and just came through and actually went to our museum, went through our hallways, actually watched our practice, talked to some players,” Hawkins said.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HAWKINS:
They were getting ideas for the shoe and learning about the history of the school and the 1955 team, so they could come up with a shoe that would symbolize everything about Crispus Attucks.
Converse came up with two designs, a Chuck 70 and the classic Converse Pro Leather.
“The original green and gold colors,” Hawkins said. “On the back of it, they have the four stars. Four stars correlate to how many state championships we’ve won. And the Tiger (logo) is on the tongue of the shoes.”
Hawkins says the project brings everything full circle because the players on the 1955 team actually wore Chuck Taylor All Star shoes when they played.
As for the players on the 2021 team, they were a little hesitant at first.
“They were like, ‘do we have to wear those?’,” Hawkins said with a laugh. “They did a good job of, you know, they know the history of our program, so they want to wear them, but they don’t want to wear them in a game.”
Hawkins says Converse will release the shoes sometime this spring, maybe in March. He teased that this is just one part of the Converse project, and other “things” will be released at a later date, but he has to keep the details secret for now.
To view all of the shoes that will be part of the “Breaking Down Barriers” collection, click here.
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