As part of the launch of The Under Armour Armoury by Champs Sports in Dallas, KicksOnFire spoke with UA athletes Emmanuel Mudiay and Raymond Felton prior to their respective autograph signing for fans in the attendance. With UA known for having some of the NBA’s top guards, it was only natural to have a rising star and a proven veteran that also plays for the home team to do the meet and greet honors. Here’s what they had to say about coming on board with Under Armour and what the future holds for them.
On being with the brand for a number of years, first as a high school player and now as an endorser:
We (Mudiay’s school Prime Prep) were sponsored by Under Armour my sophomore year, I was 15 to 16 at the time. I went to the EYBL for a while but came back into the Under Armour fold my junior year. So it was my high school team, my AAU team were both sponsored by Under Armour. It’s a family environment and everybody around here is just genuine; they cool and I like what they are about.
On working with the brand while he was overseas (he skipped college to play professional ball in China for a year):
It was great. A lot of fans didn’t know about Under Armour at the time and now the brand is getting real big out there and we had something to do with that. I was out there last year, Steph (Curry, like you don’t know) came out there a year before I did, and me actually coming in there and playing in the league was a huge jump-off for the brand.
On being part of a new generation that just grows up knowing Under Armour as a brand and not as an up-coming company:
It’s great, Under Armour and I are the same age so like, growing together I feel like, you know, kids love the colors and all that stuff, that’s been something Under Armour has been really good at, even with their gear. It was always flashy and the kids have really gotten behind that.
On his preferred kicks of choice on the court:
I love them (the ClutchFit Drive 2 and the Fire Shot), especially since they have my name on it, but I actually love the Fire Shots. I’m a low-top guy, but it’s hard to find the right fit sometimes the Fire Shots are great as a mid. I can wear both, but right now it’s the Fire Shots.
On a possible signature shoe down the line:
It’s possible, haha… (this is when I get shutdown by Under Armour PR real quick) but I’m not going to say anything right now, but I would love for it happen.
On what he’s looking for in a sneaker brand to work with changed through the years (Felton went to North Carolina and wore Jordans and signed with adidas early on in the pros):
I think that overall it’s just good people, the service you get, the shoes, the equipment, the gear, everything possible. I think Under Armour has been by far the best – and I’m not saying just because I’m with them now – I’ve been in Jordan, I’ve been in Nikes and I’ve been in adidas. But if you’re just talking about overall, the feel of the shoes, the runner, the gear and just how people interact and how people treat you Under Armour has been the best so far.
His journey to UA:
When I first signed with UA they were still making their way (into basketball shoes), but overall they’ve gotten better overall. I’ve never gotten an injury while in the shoe, I messed up my ankle last year but that was a freak accident and I’ve hurt my ankles in plenty of other shoes. So I can at least say their shoes are definitely durable and I haven’t had major injuries (moves over to the desk to knock on the wood) in these.
His kicks at the moment:
The ClutchFit Lows. Those are my favorite, I did the Fire Shot for a little bit. I played with them for about a month and a half, but they just didn’t feel the same as the ClutchFit, so I went back to those. As for the off the court, it don’t really matter, it could be running shoes or slides.
That gut-wrenching Villanova shot that ended North Carolina’s championship hopes:
It was crazy. I mean, Marcus (Paige) tied the game up and we thought the game was going to overtime and from there, we got the momentum and possibly win it. The kid (Kris Jenkins) comes down and the drills that shot and it’s just heartbreaking, man, and I’m not even there on the court playing. I can’t even imagine how they felt at that moment.