A'ja Wilson & Kelsey Mitchell, the WNBA's Top 2 Picks, Talk Signing with Nike

Meredith MinkowContributor IMay 18, 2018

South Carolina's A'ja Wilson, right, poses for a photo with WNBA President Lisa Borders after being selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA basketball draft, Thursday, April 12, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson

The WNBA is set to embark on its 22nd season, and the Association is as stacked and exciting as ever. Following one of the most talent-loaded drafts in league history, there's no denying the future of the WNBA is bright and overflowing with potential stars. Leading the charge of this next wave are A'ja Wilson and Kelsey Mitchell, the respective No. 1 and No. 2 picks of this year's WNBA draft.

Both Wilson and Mitchell—along with Gabby Williams of the Chicago Sky, Jordan Canada of the Seattle Storm, Victoria Vivians of the Indiana Fever, Lexie Brown of the Connecticut Sun, Kia Nurse of the New York Liberty and Jaime Nared of the Los Vegas Aces—recently signed shoe deals with Nike, and through the Swoosh, we were lucky enough to ask the top two picks about their favorite kicks, what this deal means to them and which member of their new WNBA team has the most heat in her closet.


Bleacher Report: What will you be playing in this season?

A'ja Wilson: Lebron 15s Low.

Kelsey Mitchell: Nike LeBron Soldiers and LeBron 15s.

A'ja Wilson in a pair of Nike Kobe A.D. NXT's before a preseason game against the Chinese national team.
A'ja Wilson in a pair of Nike Kobe A.D. NXT's before a preseason game against the Chinese national team.Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

B/R: What is your favorite shoe to play in?

A'ja Wilson: Kobe 6.

Kelsey Mitchell: LeBrons.


B/R: First shoe you ever owned? Story behind how you got them? How old were you?

A'ja Wilson: Nike Hyperdunks. They were the only shoe I could fit into. I was tall [and] really skinny with big feet!

Kelsey Mitchell: My first shoe I ever owned were Shaqs. I bought them from Payless with my mom and dad. I was like six.


B/R: Do you have a grail? Favorite shoe?

A'ja Wilson: Jordans 11s.

Kelsey Mitchell: There isn't one that sticks out; I'm a fan of all Nike basketball shoes.

A'ja Wilson poses after being drafted No. 1 overall.
A'ja Wilson poses after being drafted No. 1 overall.Michael J. LeBrecht II/Getty Images

B/R: What does it mean to you to sign with Nike?

A'ja Wilson: It means a lot. I grew up wanting to play in Nike, but both my high school and college wore something else. So to be able to fulfill that childhood dream is special.

Kelsey Mitchell: It means a heck of a lot. I have seen my favorite players wear the Nike swoosh proudly and that made me love Nike even more.


B/R: Which one of your new teammates has the most heat in their closet?

A'ja Wilson: Tamera Young

Kelsey Mitchell: Erica Wheeler

Kelsey Mitchell smiles after being drafted No. 2 overall.
Kelsey Mitchell smiles after being drafted No. 2 overall.Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

B/R: What's the craziest length you've gone to get a sneaker?

A'ja Wilson: I once had six apps open at the same time—multiple iPads, my laptop and iPhone—and I still didn't get them.

Kelsey Mitchell: Flight Club. That is [a] crazy length because that website is very expensive and out of my budget!

Kelsey Mitchell drives to her right in a pair of LeBron 15s.
Kelsey Mitchell drives to her right in a pair of LeBron 15s.Stephen Gosling/Getty Images

B/R: What's something you are really picky about when it comes to sneakers?

A'ja Wilson: They have to be low tops—it's rare I get a high-top shoe.

Kelsey Mitchell: I do not like shoes that are too bulky. Another thing is the shoe strings. They must be a certain way!


B/R: Which WNBA player has the most heat?

A'ja Wilson: Tamera Young.

Kelsey Mitchell: Tamera Young from Aces.


B/R: If you had your own signature shoe what characteristics would you want it to have?

A'ja Wilson: Low top, lightweight and have a nice, sleek look to it.

Kelsey Mitchell: Bright colors and huge support on the sides and bottom of [the] shoes.


B/R: Now that you're signed with Nike, what shoes are you most excited about rocking on and off court?

Kelsey Mitchell: Vapormax, Air Max 95, Air Max 97, anything with flyknit. And, of course, LeBrons!


WNBA Rookies Who Signed With Nike

A'ja Wilson, No. 1 pick, Las Vegas Aces

Kelsey Mitchell, No. 2 pick, Indiana Fever

Gabby Williams, No. 4 pick, Chicago Sky

Jordin Canada, No. 5 pick, Seattle Storm

Victoria Vivians, No. 8 pick, Indiana Fever

Lexie Brown, No. 9 pick, Connecticut Sun

Kia Nurse, No. 10 pick, New York Liberty

Jaime Nared, No. 13 pick, Las Vegas Aces


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