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Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid might have become a household name stateside, but he certainly remembers his previous life growing up in West Africa. Those experiences serve as inspiration for his first signature shoe with Under Armour.
The UA Embiid One “Origin” is Embiid’s introduction into the sneaker game, and it pays homage to the 26-year-old’s birthplace of Yaoundé, Cameroon.
“That’s where it all started,” The Process told SLAM Kicks in August. “I was born there, I’m Cameroonian. My whole family is from there. And it didn’t start when I started playing basketball; it started when I was born, with the way I was raised, with everything I was around, with everything I went through. That’s why Cameroon was the main point. There’s a lot of indications on the shoe, in the back of the shoe. It was designed to make sure there was an emphasis on that.”
Aesthetically, it’s simple, which consistently remains Embiid’s brand. Images of both Africa and North America are etched in the sole, representing his dual upbringing as a citizen of both Africa and the United States. Primary hues in the shoe are green, red and yellow, the colors represented on Cameroon’s official flag. The former Kansas Jayhawk’s logo can be found on the tongue, while sponsor Under Armour’s emblem is inscribed on the Micro G foam-loaded midsoles towards the back as well as a smaller engraving near the ankle.
Performance features include a lightweight textile upper with open-hole mesh for ultimate breathability and a TPU wing that promises superior midfoot lockdown for enhanced lateral stability. Under Armour’s signature HOVR technology produces an impressive 'zero gravity feel' to manage energy return, making it easier to absorb and retain impact.