PORTLAND, ORE. – In celebration of Black History Month, the University of Louisville men’s and women's basketball team will wear special adidas uniforms inspired by the creativity, passion, and expression of the early 20th century’s Harlem Renaissance. The men will wear their uniform at the Cardinals’ Feb. 23 game against Virginia in the KFC Yum! Center. The women’s team will wear theirs for its home game against Boston College the following day on Feb. 24.
Throughout the month of February, all adidas Power 5 conference NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear the uniform inspired by the ballrooms of that era. Those teams include Arizona State, Rutgers, North Carolina State, Miami, Mississippi State, Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Georgia Tech.
The Harlem Renaissance, which is considered one of the most influential movements in African American history, was a creative movement that kindled a new cultural identity. In this era, the Renaissance ballroom became a place that epitomized basketball culture as local teams perfected their game on the same wooden floors that were also used for ballroom dance events and jazz shows. Together, the Harlem community infused their spirit of dance & sport within their day to day lives, and created an indisputable marriage between music, culture, and the game.
The design of the jerseys was inspired by the wooden floors of the ballrooms where basketball became culture, each adidas team jersey also includes patterns which mimic the fabrics and prints of the 1920s that became a means of self-expression and community pride. Each uniform features a unique bean stitch texture around the team name, the word “BALLROOM” on the inner waistband of each short, and a “Celebrating Black Culture” patch. The collection also includes a series corresponding footwear silhouettes which echo the colors of the jazz ballrooms so important to the era. Each detail is meant to be an homage to the art, poetry, sounds and sport of the Renaissance, and to those driving their passion forward.
“At adidas, we created the Celebrating Black Culture program as a way of honoring our past throughout Black History Month, but also across the entire calendar year,” said Adam Laitsas, Senior Director for adidas Basketball in North America. “We firmly believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives, and we’re humbled to be able to celebrate these historical sport moments through the new Harlem Renaissance collection, and can’t wait to see each team wear these on-court.”
The basketball teams from each partner school will wear the jerseys in-game throughout the month of February, and the full uniforms from a select group of universities are currently on sale on adidas.com. The Red Louisville Cardinals Harlem Renaissance Swingman jersey and shorts are available through the GoCards.com store at this link: https://uofl.me/2GvFll3 .