Released on March 7th, 2020, right in the thick of the NCAA’s March Madness, the highly-anticipated Air Jordan Retro 3 UNC is a nod to Michael Jordan’s collegiate basketball career at Chapel Hill’s University of North Carolina (UNC). The sneaker pays homage to Michael Jordan’s unforgettable game-winning jumper during the NCAA championship way back in 1982. It is designed by the iconic Tinker Hatfield, responsible for Air Jordan 3 to 15, and now Nike’s Vice-President for Design and Special Projects. The Air Jordan Retro 3 UNC comes in white, valor blue, and tech grey color scheme. The colors are inspired by UNC Tar Heels colors.
Here’s the history behind this iconic shoe design: Air Jordan 3 is basketball legend Michael Jordan’s third signature shoe line. It was released in 1988, and it is iconic in many ways. For one thing, it is the first to feature the iconic Jumpman logo, one of the most recognizable images in sports. It also had a lower-cut silhouette, which became a controversy back in the 80s. It also introduced a never-used treatment that designer Tinker Hatfield called elephant hide, now also a well-known Air Jordan feature. The Air Jordan 3 was revolutionary because it opened the doors wide open for Air Jordan. It wasn’t only a great pair to wear on the court anymore. Now it has been reincarnated into a cool lifestyle shoe.
The UNC Jordan 3 that was released on March 7th is a non-Player Exclusive (PE) pair. However, this was once a very limited player exclusive pair. It faced some controversy, adding to its in-demand status. It was the subject of a UNC Football scandal during the 2018 season. 13 UNC players were suspended for upwards of three games for allegedly selling their pair for huge sums of money. This much-coveted sneaker bearing the Tar Heel colorway is finally released to the public, and it is a hit.
This new iteration of Air Jordan 3 still features that elephant hide (or cement) material, which is displayed on the toe and heel overlays. It also features a white-draped leather upper alongside two shades of blue seen on the eyelets, branding, and part of the midsole area. The shade of blue is found on the midsole rear. There are also Jumpman embellishments on the base constructions. Behind the right and left tongues, the words “Soul” and “Heart” are embroidered.
Many fans have predicted that this non-PE version will have the UNC logo on the tongue. The tongue has the Jumpman logo instead. The Air Jordan Retro 3 UNC is a big hit for collectors and fans because it pays homage to MJ’s collegiate alma mater.
Air Jordan 2 “Rivals” colorway was also released in the same week as the Air Jordan 3 UNC. This is part of the All-Star Weekend focused releases of Air Jordan. Look for Air Jordan 3 UNC at the Nike online store or select retailers. Its retail price is set at US $190.
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