Grant Kersey, a manager for the University of Virginia Men's Basketball team, had the opportunity of a lifetime when head coach Tony Bennett told him that for the rest of the season, he could suit up for home games. In the final minutes of a blowout game vs. Coppin St., Grant got to hop in the game. The rest... well, take a look down below.
What we didn't know at the time was that this team would go on to be National Champions. For the National Championship game, I had the opportunity to paint a special pair of shoes for Grant to wear on the bench for the game. We did a bit of brainstorming together and decided to incorporate a spin off of a character from a childhood Cartoon Network show, Kids Next Door. I think this character is special for Grant in the position that he's in because for UVA basketball fans, he's a hometown hero. He really is just the kid next door that got to show up on a big stage. I made the character to be holding up a 1 and a 3 with his fingers to represent Grant's jersey number, 13. (In the SC Top 10 video he didn't even have his real jersey yet, it was just a sample #1 with the last name "Virginia" on the back.) The shoes are Air Jordan 1 Mids and started out as all white. I hand painted everything that's not white with a brush and Angelus leather paint.
Additionally, I designed a poster just for fun that features Grant and the shoes.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with these and Grant was great to work with. I'm looking forward to working on more custom sneakers soon.
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