On March 9th, Duke and University of North Carolina men’s basketball played in their rivalry game. Within the first possessions of the game, Zion Williamson, the projected number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, blew out his shoe and injured his knee.
Williamson is still not playing due to this injury.
Following the blowout of Williamson’s Nike shoe, the Nike stock dropped and social media outlets were blowing up about the incident. Would he have hurt himself had his shoe not broken? Was the shoe blowout inevitable or was their an error in the shoe manufacturing? Questions began circulating amongst college basketball fans everywhere.
Nike came forward saying that their shoe quality was of the most importance and that they were looking to see what caused this 6’ 7” powerhouse’s shoe to break.
One of the Modules in our STEM Basketball curriculum kit has a module that is focused on shoe technology, so we took an extra interest in this event. Since the early 1900’s, shoe technology has changed and improved drastically. In 1917 basketball players were wearing Converse Chuck Taylors during games. Now, athletes have endless options of which high performance shoes they want to wear and they often get a new pair every couple of games.
Basketball shoes have more potential to impact the health and performance of an athlete than any other equipment item. That is why the “T”, technology in STEM, behind the shoes is so important. Scientists are now able to customize shoes for each individual athlete’s foot structure, on-court movement and the impact of that movement. These advancements minimize injury and enhance player performance.
This is just one of the many examples of how STEM is important to sports. The behind the scenes work of STEM employees is what has allowed these games to become what they are today.