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Inspired by Cardinals’ uniforms of the 1980s, adidas and the University of Louisville unveil the Black History Month collection to commemorate one of the program’s first three African-American basketball players Wade Houston. The Tennessee native embraced the opportunity to break the color line on court from 1963-66 and returned to Louisville as an assistant coach in 1976.
Louisville will suit up in all-black and all-cream versions of the tribute uniforms. The jerseys feature throwback name and numbering used during the Cardinals’ dominant runs in the ’80s. The 2016 rendition is comprised of red and black accents with the short showcasing the Louisville “Dunking Bird” as a nod to the program’s 1980 and 1986 NCAA Championships. As with the uniforms of the era, the player names will not be featured on the backs of the jerseys.
The black uniforms will be worn at the Cardinals’ Feb. 8 ESPN Big Monday game at Duke, while the cream uniforms will be worn at Louisville’s Feb. 20 game against Duke in the KFC Yum! Center. Duke was the opponent when Louisville prevailed 72-69 in the 1986 NCAA Championship game in Dallas, Texas. That 1986 title team will be honored at halftime of the Feb. 20 game.
To give players optimum performance on the court, the uniforms feature the same lightweight, sweat-wicking technology used in the NBA. Targeted ventilation zones on the chest, back and side keep players cool even in the most intense moments of the game. A mid-hole mesh on the short maximizes comfort and breathability as the game heats up.
To complement the uniforms, the Cardinals will lace-up adidas’ Black History Month basketball sneaker collection inspired by Jesse Owens. At the 1936 Berlin summer games, Owens became a groundbreaking athlete and symbol for social justice and equality after a historic performance where he became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single games. Each shoe in the collection features cream tones, dark brown contrasts, gold accents and signature details including Owen’s 733 bib number treated with gold foil on the tongue and a 1936 graphic-print in the sock liner.
Fans can grab their own team gear at www.adidas.com, Cardinal Authentic, and other campus area locations this February.
— Kenny Klein (@KKcards) February 2, 2016