By Mark Gregory
For six high school basketball programs across the state – the opening of a season never looked so good.
That is because those programs – including Bolingbrook – they have custom designed uniforms from noted Chicago designer Don C, who has worked with the Jordan Brand on other designs in the past.
The uniforms for the Raiders, Hillcrest, Fenwick, De La Salle, Marian Catholic and Morgan Park are modeled after the 1984 Bulls uniforms the Bulls wore during Jordan’s rookie season.
“I feel very honored for the Jordan Brand to sponsor us,” said Bolingbrook sophomore guard Joseph Yesufu. “It is unique and we are more hyped, so now we have to live up to the hype.”
The Raiders have lived up to the type of program the Jordan Brand sponsors over the past few seasons, including a third-place finish in state two years ago.
“This is our fourth year with them now and I think over those years, we have proven we are one of the elite programs in the state and I think that they think that as well,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “It is a thrill for our guys and the uniforms are really great.”
Senior Nana Akenten knows the Jordan Brand would not trust a program with the jerseys that it didn’t feel would represent the brand well and he knows the team has to respond to that.
“The credit goes all to the coaches,” Akenten said. “They are the ones that let us know we have high standards and high expectations that we need to meet.”
One of the new Raiders is especially happy to be wearing the Jordan Brand uniforms is Malik Binns, as he transferred to Bolingbrook from Morgan Park – another one of the teams wearing the special uniforms this season.
“It is a blessing. I am thankful I came here during the time that they are being sponsored,” Binns said. “It is a great experience I will always have being honored with the [replica 84] Bulls jerseys.”
While the uniforms will be some of the best in the state of Illinois, the Raiders’ senior leader knows that while the uniforms may make the team look good while achieving their goals – they will not help achieve those goals.
“It is a blessing, but at the end of the day, those jerseys will not win us games,” Akenten said. “So we have to come out and play hard and not just come out for looks.”