At first it may seem odd that a celebrity-endorsed sneaker is based on a movie that was released over 30 years ago, but Coming to America‘s story is quite fitting for the Milwaukee Buck’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. Born in Greece to Nigerian parents (and nicknamed the “Greek Freak”), Antetokounmpo traveled to America in 2013 in the hopes of being drafted in the NBA — which he was — and has had a successful career ever since. Although Antetokounmpo isn’t nobility like America‘s Prince Akeem (Murphy), he certainly has some crowning achievements: 2019’s NBA MVP and an NBA All-Star for three years running.
Antetokounmpo’s love for America and his personal connection to the story came to the forefront when designing the shoe. According to Nike, the Zoom Freak 1 is “embellished with animal print and rich gold accents to mimic the royal garb worn by Prince Akeem upon his formal entrance to the U.S.” The perfect homage to the player’s favorite film.
The basketball star even released a cheeky video on Instagram with a clip from Coming to America…except the faces are replaced by Antetokounmpo’s & Co. while the bags rep the classic Nike swoosh.