Ateneo Is First University Outside North America to Be Outfitted in Jordan Brand Gear
When the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Blue Eaglets and Lady Eagles finally return to the hardcourt this year, a new but very familiar logo will be seen on their jerseys. On Thursday, Jordan Brand announced its partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University’s Men’s, Juniors, and Women’s Basketball teams, making university the first in Southeast Asia and the only one outside the U.S. to be fully outfitted in gear inspired by arguably the greatest player ever.
“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,” says 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.”
The school’s Jordan Brand team uniforms will make their debut on Saturday (March 26) during opening weekend of UAAP Season 84. The Blue Eagles begin their long-awaited hunt for a fourth consecutive title as they take on the UP Fighting Maroons and write another chapter in the “Battle of Katipunan.”
“The qualities that Michael Jordan embodied and which allowed him to become the iconic player he is is his competitive nature and his tremendous work ethic,” says Ateneo Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tab Baldwin. “When he walked on the court, you could expect greatness. We believe that every athlete should be in the pursuit of their own greatness. We acknowledge that in our program there is greatness within every one of us and we can achieve that with a tremendous work ethic.”
“Basketball is a by-product of hard work, love for the game and integrity to the sport and what makes the partnership between Jordan Brand and Ateneo de Manila University such a nice fit is the pursuit of greatness. Now we have Michael Jordan there with us every day, branded on our clothing, and spiritually within our program,” he adds.
A product of that storied program is former King Eagle and Jordan Brand athlete Kiefer Ravena. The Phenom won three straight Juniors championships with the Blue Eaglets from 2008-2010 and two more in the Seniors division with the five-peat champion Blue Eagles in 2011 and 2012.
“Jordan and Ateneo share a common DNA,” Ravena shares. “To grow the love for basketball and the commitment to give back to the community and both were inspired by one man, Michael Jordan. We all hope to follow in his footsteps and pass on to the next generation the values of hard work, dedication and generosity. With this partnership, life has come full circle starting with me as one of the few Asians and the first Filipino to be a part of Jordan family. Now I have the larger Ateneo family to fly the Pinoy pride.”
Another thing in common that Jordan Brand and Ateneo share is their commitment to building equity for women basketball players. This translates to this year’s uniforms as well. The women’s team jerseys are designed and cut specifically for female athletes.
“As an ardent supporter of women’s basketball, I feel proud that my female counterparts are now sponsored by Jordan Brand together with the men’s team,” Ravena says. “With this partnership, I hope more Filipino women will be inspired to take up sports, especially basketball. This is definitely a step in the right direction especially when giving women’s sports, not just women’s basketball, the right exposure they deserve.”
The partnership recognizes the rich winning tradition of the Ateneo basketball program but more importantly, it also inspires the school to strive for more. Magis.
"The Blue Eagles Men’s Basketball Team pushes us to do more, do better. We believe we too can do what they are achieving,” says Ateneo Women’s Basketball Team Captain Jhazmin Joson. “We want to win. That is our goal, but it isn’t just about winning. We want to inspire other women and girls so they can also play the sport they love.”
“The partnership between Jordan and Ateneo also inspires us to do our part to propagate women’s basketball in the country and be champions not just on the hardwood but also off it,” says Ateneo Women’s Basketball Head Coach LA Mumar adds.
Mumar takes the helm for the Lady Eagles who last won a championship in 2007 and hopes to lead the team to their third UAAP women’s title.
After two years, varsity basketball’s finally back and the partnership between Jordan Brand and Ateneo just gave us another thing to look forward to seeing.
“We can’t wait to return to the court in our Jordan jerseys. We can’t wait to play again,” says Joson.