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7th September 2023 EDT RELEASES

More NCAA Basketball Teams Join Nike’s “Mamba Program” for 2023–24 College Season

Carrying Kobe Bryant's torch through the Swoosh's "Mamba Program".


[Update 7 Sep 2023] The University of Kentucky’s Wildcats was the first basketball team introduced into the inaugural “Mamba Program”, and six more have joined since: the UConn Huskies, Oregon Ducks, LSU Tigers, USC Trojans, and Duke Blue Devils.

In good spirits, Vanessa Bryant expressed, “We are grateful for the amazing support of these prestigious universities…to further the legacies of Kobe and Gigi!” says Vanessa Bryant. “So excited to see their players wearing Kobe and Gigi’s NIKE shoes this upcoming season!!”

Expect to see all the above-mentioned teams grace the hardwood in special “Kobe Brand” gear this upcoming NCAA season.


Nike and the Kobe Bryant estate’s partnership has been irresolute since his untimely passing. But things are starting to look up after successive releases and announcements of some Nike Kobe silhouettes, with the most recent being the Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Halo”, scheduled for release on his birthday, 23 August.

Just ahead of them was the official announcement of the Nike Kobe line’s reintroduction, or rather, rejuvenation come this year’s Mamba Day, 24 August (24/8).

In protecting and expanding Braynt’s legacy, Nike has partnered with the University of Kentucky, reportedly hand-picked by Vanessa Bryant, to suit the Wildcats with Kobe-branded jerseys and signature shoes, as part of the inaugural “Mamba Program”. Akin to Jordan Brand and University of North Carolina’s arrangement.

More institutions are expected to join the program as part of a multi-year rollout. It’s expected the USC Trojans will be next considering the Bryant family’s deep ties to the university.

If you’re reading this because you’re a fan of the Nike Kobe silhouettes, check out the array of inline and special releases on the SNKRDUNK App!

In other news, Nike readies the Air Jordan 1 Low for the autumn in “Olive Satin”.