Aubrey Graham, also known by the world as Drake, has close ties to the Kentucky basketball program and has for many years. A relationship between John Calipari and the rapper dates back decades, and it seems as prevalent as ever with the news that surfaced Thursday night.
But before that, let's recap his UK fandom. Remember, he showed up to Big Blue Madness in 2014 when he famously air-balled the shot in the layup line. He also made a second appearance in 2017 wearing the 'Kentucky Dad' sweatshirt and told students he'd be back with a free concert at some point (he did not). We've also seen him make a song with a Kentucky line in it (Scholarships), wear UK gear time to time, and just overall support the Wildcats when he sees fit. The outsiders will call it him a bandwagon, but I don't see him doing this for any of the other blue-bloods so we'll take it. If Drake wants to support your program, you don't say no.
As of late, and where all this ties back in to each other, he has created a sub-brand named NOCTA that puts his social reach into the basketball world. Recruits pick up on it, the social media world picks up on it, and now this program is picking up on it. On Thursday night, the rap star gifted the new roster at Kentucky custom sneakers from his brand that is partnered with UK, who also so happens to be a Nike school.
The official name of these shoes are called 'Nike Nocta Glide PEs', which are selling fro around $160 for the basic versions online. In the video, the players looked ecstatic and they understood just how remarkable this is. Drake is at the top of the rap game right now and every one of these players listen to his music, so with their two worlds colliding, that had to feel surreal I'm sure.
Here's an image posted by rapper Lil Yachty who was one of the first ones to get a look at these shoes this summer.
(Image via LilYachty/Twitter)
Kentucky is making its way back around to being the cool school again and now all they need is to take all of this off the court excitement and put it onto the actual court for an entire season. The vibes are great right now, let's hope they continue going forward.