Converse has been there for almost every major milestone in basketball. This week, the Boston brand is kicking off a new celebration, one that honors some of the first black men to play the sport professionally, through the new “Breaking Down Barriers” collection.

Converse’s new “Breaking Down Barriers” collection is quite literal with its name. The pack of six sneakers honors three big names from basketball’s history, Chuck Cooper, Earl Lloyd, and Nat Clifton, three men who helped break down the National Basketball League’s color barrier. The first of them was Cooper, drafted #13 in 1950 by the Boston Celtics, followed by Cooper, who was the first to sign in an NBA contract with the then-New York Knickerbockers. Finally, Earl Lloyd’s time also came in the 1950’s, when he suited up to play with the Washington Capitals. The Breaking Down Barriers collection incapsulates each of these players, showing appreciation for them through two ifferent shoes each, a Chuck Taylor All-Star for the team they began their NBA journey with, and a classic Pro Leather for the team they ended up with, each dressed in that team’s colors.


Converse’s new “Breaking Down Barriers” collection, honoring some of the first black men to play professional basketball, will be available later this week, on January 23rd, 2020. The collection will launch from both Converse and select retailers, namely Footlocker an House of Hoops. Check out the official images below for a better look, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more Converse release news.