Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, left, drives with the ball past Boston Celtics center Al Horford, right, during the second half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving recently made history by becoming the first pro athlete to sign his father to a signature sneaker deal. After cutting ties with Nike in 2022, Irving signed with ANTA; a Chinese athletic brand. Irving signed with ANTA in September of 2023 and has created his own line called ANTA KAI 1.

While Irving is an endorser and contributor for ANTA, he additionally serves the role as the Chief Creative Officer of the company. Within the contract Irving signed when he joined the team, he has the ability to sign and seek different company donors and sponsors. This is a rare privilege most athletes let alone professional basketball players have.

Irving takes after his father Drederick, who also has an athletic and basketball background. Drederick was a standout at Boston University from 1984 to 1988. He also was inducted into the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 for his achievements and accomplishments. After playing in Boston, Irving went on to play professionally in Australia for the Bulleen Bombers.

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Kyrie is very grateful for his father as he played a pivotal role in his success today he told ESPN in 2012.

“I thank my father,” Irving said. “He did things the old-school way. No shortcuts. Nothing guaranteed.”

Drederick groomed and trained Irving to be a pro at a young age.  If his father had not been involved, his career would have turned out differently, Kyrie expressed to ESPN.

“My father told me I would wind up as the best guard in the state of New Jersey. In my senior year of high school, he told me I’d be the number one player in the country. Then, in college, he told me I’d be the number one pick in the draft. He laid out all the necessary steps for me. It was up to me what I did with them.”

The signature sneaker is set to be released to the public in September and sold in retail sneaker stores around the world.