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Words x Photos: Ellen Gobeille for CNKDaily

Here at CNKDaily, we have a bit of a history with Nike Basketball. Our first big opportunity came with NB in ATX as they unveiled the Nike KD 9 and, while not one of us on the editorial staff can ball with any sort of precise skill, we still have love for the sport and the shoes curated specifically for the hardwood.

So, when we had the opportunity to kick off the NBA season with Nike Basketball, Nike Chicago, and Jordan Brand; we totally jumped at the chance. We took to the Nike Statement House in Chicago - a specially curated warehouse located right in the heart of Chi-Town. The night started off on a high note as we got the chance to customize a Bulls jersey of our own in the Swoosh creator studio.

Inside the Nike Statement House, creating a custom Chicago Bulls jersey.  Photo: E. Gobeille

The Nike Team walked me through the steps of making a custom jersey on an iPad which resulted in an homage to the most famouse Chicago Bull ever: Michael Jordan. I picked the number 12 and put my last name on the back. The reason for 12? In 1990, before a Valentine’s Day game in Orlando, someone stole Michael Jordan’s original 23 jersey from the locker room and he had to wear the number 12 for the night. It is also one of my favorite numbers so, there you go. I chose a red plaid fabric for the numbers on my jersey, outlined in a black leather material. My jersey took almost 3 hours to complete and came out beautifully. I was so impressed by the craftsmanship and staff who constructed it for me. It seemed like they were as excited to give the jersey to me as I was to receive it.

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The Statement House took over Chicago for a week of NBA celebration but, members of the media weren’t the only group that got to enjoy all the Statement House had to offer as Swoosh made it a point to include Chicago youth in the celebration. We hit the house on Tuesday evening which also happened to be High School night. Kids from all over the Chicagoland area arrived in droves to capitalize on free hair cuts, watch the NBA opener, partake in a little competitive NBA 2K, and rub shoulders with some of their favorite Chicago Bulls including Lauri Markkanen. The night ended with a high energy dunk contest that was EVERYTHING.

Get a feel for the entire experience in our photo recap below:

It’s actually kind of fitting that Nike Chicago took a night out to celebrate High School basketball players in Chicago. Back in August, Nike introduced a special city Hyperdunk Low "FINAO" shoe that payed homage to a Chi-Town native. Coined by Chicago-born basketball player, Saieed Iey, a Simeon High School graduate who passed away in Los Angeles in 2016, FINAO (Failure is Not an Option) has since become adopted citywide as a rallying call for the Windy City's next generation of hoop talent. The phrase is inked on bodies and hash tagged on social media to serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of embracing opportunity.

We had an amazing time at the Nike Statement House this week! If you’re looking to join in on the fun, you can do so in Nike marquee cities across the country including >New York and, of course, Chicago. And, if you’ll be heading to the Statement House in Chicago, you can catch an early release of the Nike LeBron 15 “Ashes” which won't be available anywhere else until 10/28.


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