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The Kentucky Wildcats Will Be The First Nike Kobe School

The University of Kentucky is setting a new milestone by becoming the first collegiate program sponsored by the Nike Kobe line. As reported by Jack Pilgrim of KSR, Vanessa Bryant, made the deliberate choice of the University of Kentucky for this honor. It was also noted that “several other programs” will join the "Mamba Program" in the future. While no other universities joining the program known at this time, the University of Oregon, Duke, Michigan State, UCONN, USC, Arizona, and Villanova, as well as the University of Kentucky previously received Kobe 11 Elite PEs back in 2016.

Before this, the Kentucky Wildcats had been gifted a Player Exclusive (PE) version of the Kobe 11 Elite. Under this new program, the athletic department is poised to receive an array of specially designed Nike Kobe PEs for in-game use.

This past July, the Wildcats basketball team was presented with the Nike Kobe 4 "Mambacita.” Going back to last October, the University hosted an event that saw the attendance of Kobe's daughter, Natalia Bryant, and the Bryant family's Mamba Skills Academy.

Kobe Bryant (left) with current Kentucky Wildcats Coach John Calipari (right) [Image via Andrew D. Bernstein , Getty]
Kobe Bryant (left) with current Kentucky Wildcats Coach John Calipari (right) [Image via Andrew D. Bernstein , Getty]

Kat Conlon, the executive director of the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, expressed the significance of this partnership during a media gathering, saying, “This is the first partnership with any university.” She went on to elaborate on the special bond between Coach Calipari and the late Kobe Bryant, noting, “Coach Calipari and Kobe Bryant had a very special relationship, so anything we can do with the foundation that continues to tell the stories of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, we are all game for it with the foundation.”

All of this news comes on the heels of the official relaunch of the Nike Kobe line, which will see the introduction of the Nike Kobe 8 “Halo” and the “Halo Series” as a whole. Keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest Nike Kobe news and more in the sneaker and streetwear world.

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