Ateneo Blue Eagles basketball teams to don iconic Jordan Brand uniforms
24 Mar 2022
In a historic first, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles Men's, Women's, and High School basketball teams will be wearing athletic apparel bearing the iconic Jordan Jumpman logo this Season 84 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Ateneo becomes Jordan Brand's first-ever partner university in Southeast Asia, and the only one outside the United States. The athletic apparel, which includes jerseys with a fit and cut uniquely suited to female players, will become the official uniform of the Blue Eagles Basketball Team this upcoming UAAP season.
"It’s exciting to announce Jordan Brand’s only university partnership outside of North America, because there are few places in the world where basketball culture shows up like it does in Manila," said Jordan Brand President, Craig Williams. "It is so crucial to invest in young people, and in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University, we can inspire young people through our shared love of the game."
“Ateneo is proud to be part of this unique and historic partnership with a legendary and globally-recognized sports brand," said Fr Roberto Yap SJ, University President. "This tie-up honors Ateneo Basketball's decades-old tradition of excellence, and a vote of confidence in our University's ability to nurture well-rounded student athletes who embody the motto mens sana in corpore sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body."
"Investment in the country’s youth and building inclusivity can spearhead basketball culture and translate our passion into profession. As one of the most successful basketball programs, Ateneo Basketball has always strived for excellence" said Emmanuel Fernandez, Director of the University Athletics Office. "Being associated with a prestigious brand such as Jordan is an acknowledgement of this excellence, which will no doubt fuel the desires of many aspiring Pinoy and Pinay players in their own pursuit of greatness. We are all still inspired by MJ’s legacy and his undying love for the game."
Acknowledgment of excellence
Gian Mamuyac, captain of the Men's Basketball Team, said: "We are truly honored, especially as the first university in Southeast Asia to be representing the brand. With this, we will strive to represent the brand by characterizing its values to the best of our abilities, on and off the court, at all times. We hope that we can make the Jordan brand and the Ateneo community proud."
Meanwhile, Sandra Villacruz, co-captain of the Women's Basketball Team said: "To be partnered up with Jordan, it fills me with much gratitude, pride, and hope for the future. This is definitely a monumental breakthrough for basketball because it links teams from around the world and brings them closer together."
"We all know that Jordan is one of the huge factors that drive basketball culture, and for them to support our basketball teams is a significant step in our career as athletes. I believe that this partnership will boost our performances and morale, knowing that we are soon approaching the start of UAAP season," said Ian Espinosa, captain of the High School Team.
Level playing field
Rooted in the pursuit of excellence and to inspire the next generation of players, the partnership will unite the two basketball icons through shared DNA of achieving greatness on their own terms, creating opportunities for all and building a level playing field.
"I find this movement very empowering for the younger generation as they are able to see both men and women given the same opportunity to stand side by side with each other and share the basketball spotlight along with the image of the greatest basketball player imprinted on their chest," Villacruz said.
"This partnership is a step in the right direction, especially when giving women’s sports the right exposure they deserve," said Kiefer Ravena, Blue Eagles alumnus and the first Filipino athlete to be signed by the Jordan Brand. "The growth of the Jordan family from one athlete to a team shows the Brand’s commitment to building a community in the Philippines and a long-term commitment to investing in youth," said Ravena, who currently plays in the Japan B League.
Celebrating the partnership
To celebrate the partnership with Ateneo Basketball, Jordan Brand is launching a series of brand experiences, products and services exclusive for members hosted at the Jordan Manila, BGC store. These include viewing parties for select UAAP games and Jordan Flight Camps - basketball skills development clinics for intermediate to advanced level ballers.
Local artists and Ateneo alumni Gica Tam and Mikki dela Rea were engaged to specifically develop designs for Custom 23, a customization service exclusively available at Jordan Manila. The unique designs by Gica and Mikki are inspired by their love for the game, Ateneo’s culture, energy, passion and everything that surrounds that through their lens.
In addition, Jordan x Ateneo Men’s and Women’s fan tees will be available for sale in limited quantities at Jordan Manila BGC, Titan BGC and Titan22.com.
"We at the Ateneo, are very excited about the fact that two brands that represent excellence in sports and beyond have come together in this partnership" the University Athletics Office added. "The spirit of magis is very much alive in both the Ateneo and the Jordan brand."
Images courtesy of Jordan Brand