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Sneak(er) Peek: House Of Hoops

The folks at Nike and Foot Locker opened up a House of Hoops by Foot Locker store in Harlem on 125th Street on Monday, November 19th. The day before they offered media a preview of the store and it was definitely fresh. Stocked with all the shoes and apparel you could ask for in time for the holidays, the store–the first, though there are plans to expand—is sure to become a destination for ball players and sneaker connoisseurs alike. Upon entering, murals of New York City players including Kenny Anderson and Ben Gordon (Mt. Vernon, but we’ll claim him) are to your left. Walk further and before the first right turn into the store proper is a floor to ceiling glass case showcasing the current crop of actual Nike kicks being worn by NBA players on the court, in their respective sizes. Though some of the sneakers will be limited runs (most from 24 to 100 pairs) anything you see in the store (i.e. China only releases from Kobe & LeBron) will be available for purchase. The store is a Nike basketball aficionados dream with sections devoted to customizable T-shirts, team gear, sport culture sneakers (i.e. ish you have no business rocking on a basketball court), and of course Jordan and Lebron James dedicated areas. There is even a VIP area called The Chill Zone with leather chairs and a 65″ TV for screening videos. Even Converse, which Nike purchased in 2003, gets some shine with a room devoted to their wares, particularly those of Dwyane Wade. The city game, as well as the sneakerheads it begat, would be proud. We even got a peak at Kobe Bryant’s new Zoom Kobe III’s out in February ’08. But we were not allowed to snap pics of those. Some of what we did get is below. Kicks, kicks and more kicks…These joints rights here are Kevin Durant’s colorways for the Nike Air Sweet Elite IIs. Crispy. These are due in December. From L to R you got colorways for Chris Bosh, Emeka Okafor and Kevin Durant. When’s the last time a sneaker store only sold sneakers?Ben Gordon’s colorway (peep the BG logo) for the Nike Zoom BBs. Patent leather seems to always work. D Wade, he gets props too. Still the greatest. Wouldn’t be official without Pat Ewing getting his proper due. This tiled mural is located behind the store’s check-out register.

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