CPS students design shoes for Kobe Bryant

March 24, 2009 2:17:06 PM PDT
On Saturday, during the Bulls-Lakers game, basketball player Kobe Bryant will be wearing sneakers designed by some Chicago Public Schools students. The design competion was sponsored by Nike. Kobe Bryant met with all the kids as the winning design was announced.

Bryant caused a stir at Walsh Elementary School on Friday afternoon during a basketball clinic.

But a couple of the kids who designed the shoe Kobe will be wearing during Saturday night's game against the Bulls got a special treat.

When the basketball advice comes from an 11 time All Star and M.V.P. of the NBA who happens to have three championship rings, middle school kids tend to pay attention, even if happens to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe Bryant is the national ambassador for the After School All Stars and he got to meet a few dozen of the 3,300 Chicago kids who are in the program.

"This is like the Beatles coming to America. The kids go wild for Kobe," said Ben Paul, CEO, After School All Star.

The other reason Byrant was at the school was to learn what shoes he will wear in Saturday night's game against the Bulls. A groups of kids from Claremont and Parkside are competing to design the best Nike Zoom model for basketball shoes. They worked in groups and created colors on a computer monitor. The winners get tickets to the game.

"I'm most excited about meeting Kobe," said Jakima Young, Claremont Academy.

"Winning is like a dream come true," said Larry Turner, Claremont Academy.

Nike also provided the runners up with a pair of shoes. The winners get to see their hero play in the shoes in person.

"I appreciate everybody's creativity though. I think everybody did a fantastic job especially in terms be relating the design to the game itself. You know, because that's where it all starts," said Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers guard.

The winning team calls itself 'Team Venom' and used snakeskin in their design.

The shoes sell for $140.