Renaissance. And no, we’re not talking about Beyonce’s impeccable dance hall-inspired album from 2022. We’re talking about the WNBA. Established legends, up-and-coming stars and rookies with rockstar followings. This season has brought a whole new level of intrigue—though the real ones know this League has always been filled with hype since its inception in ‘96.

The game is growing at an exceptional rate and sneaker brands like Nike and Jordan Brand have certainly taken note. Athlete rosters have rapidly expanded and multi-million dollar endorsement deals have been reached. The ladies are now the first to debut premier basketball silhouettes like Jordan NIL athlete and UCLA point guard Kiki Rice, who unveiled the Air Jordan 38 during the 2022 Sweet Sixteen. Signature shoes have returned, with Sabrina Ionescu becoming the eighth women’s signature athlete in the brand’s history, and 30th all-time. 

Just this month, A’ja Wilson and Nike revealed that they’ve been working on her first signature –the A’One–for the past year, making her the first Black women to have a signature with the brand since the Nike Air Swoopes I. 

As we celebrate the start of the 2024 WNBA season, let’s take a collective trip back through the Nike archives and celebrate the pioneers of today, and yesterday, who laid out the blueprint.


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