He Got Game: YSU Hooper Embraces the Sneakerhead Lifestyle

By Brian Yauger

Devin Morgan, the junior guard on the Youngstown State University basketball team, fits the bill of a sneakerhead perfectly. Morgan has over 100 pairs of shoes.

For those not in the know, a “sneakerhead” is someone who is really into shoes, to the point of collecting numerous pairs.

Out of all those pairs, Morgan’s favorite pair are the Concord Jordan 11s. The Concords were one of the most hyped sneaker releases of 2018. When asked what his go-to model of shoes is, he gave a simple answer.

“The 11s for sure,” Morgan said. “I like the Cool Greys, the Bred 11s. I’ve always hooped in the Concords. For some reason I don’t really wear the Concords, but I like to play basketball in them. I may have to break them out for the tournament though.”

Every sneakerhead has a pair of shoes that got them into collecting. One of Morgan’s spark-lighting pairs, just so happens to also be his go-to. The Jordan 11s and the Jordan 5s.

“I really like the Cool Grey 11s,” Morgan said. “They came out probably like five or six years ago. I camped outside for those. Every year for Christmas, I would camp outside for a pair and when the Grape 5s came out, I didn’t even know what they really were. My cousin got them for me, I ended up getting them on Nike.com and from there it just kind of took off.”

That spark for Morgan came in high school. Later on, during his freshman year at his old school, Delaware State University, Morgan would wear a different pair of shoes every game he would play in.

“I’ve been collecting shoes since high school,” Morgan said. “My freshman year [at Delaware State], I hooped in 26 different pairs, a different pair every game. Sophomore year, my coach kind of put a little restriction on me. Here I’ve tried to keep it under control, but after the LeBrons came out, coach liked those so I got the Black History Months.”

When it comes to choosing a colorway, which is the sneakerhead term for a shoe’s color scheme, Morgan prefers to stick with the classics. Opting for a pair of original colors, commonly known in the sneakerhead community as “OGs.”

Photo by Brian Yauger/The Jambar

“All the original colors for Jordans,” Morgan said. “The little card that comes with the shoes, I make sure I get every pair of those. I don’t like too many crazy colors. I have a neon pair, but other than that I like black and white, black and grey, something like that. With Jordans definitely all the OG colorways.”

Many people only wear shoes for comfort and aren’t into the style as much. Morgan has a couple pairs that he views as a hybrid of both.

“The most comfortable shoes I wear right now has to be the Yeezy Wave Runners,” Morgan said. “I can wear those every day. If we’re talking Jordans, the most comfortable pair would be the [Jordan 13] He Got Games. I love those, I could wear those every day too.”

During the Penguins’ five-game win streak in February, Morgan stuck with one pair of shoes, the LeBron 16 SuperBrons, a colorway of red, yellow and blue designed to mimic the iconic Superman.

Being noticed by fellow sneakerheads is part of the fun of being one according to Morgan.

“A lot of people are sneakerheads, they love to see which pair I’m going to wear,” Morgan said. “It’s fun to know there’s something other than just basketball. I actually had an article about me in high school about all my shoes. It’s fun. I like to keep people on their heels about what shoes I’m going to wear. My parents hate it though because it’s a lot of money.”

Morgan has been a bit busy to pay a ton of attention to the latest releases, but there are a few that have caught his eye.

“I haven’t been paying too much attention this year,” Morgan said. “I actually got my mom into it now. She’ll email me when a new pair comes out. Actually, the Bred 4s are coming out in the OG colorway and they’re going to have the Nike on the back, so I’m looking forward to those. Those are my favorite pair of Jordans of all time and whenever 11s come out, I definitely look forward to those, but other than that I haven’t been paying too much attention.”

With the tournament starting in just a few days, it’ll be fun to see what Morgan decides to lace up. He’s yet to wear the Concords and said he was going to save them for a special occasion. You’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled to see what he wears.

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