For most high school players, playing division one college basketball is the next step to becoming an NBA player. As a top 2018 prospect, Darius Bazley decided to opt out of the normal route to the pro's to instead carve out his own career path. Last year, the rising star announced he would forgo his commitment to Syracuse and his NCAA eligibility, to pursue a $1 million internship at New Balance. In his words, he wants "to be more than just an athlete."
Now signed with a professional endorsement contract with the sneaker giant, we caught up with Darius at New Balance HQ in Boston to explore his day-to-day work load. He walks us through his creative process alongside seeing how these designs take shape through production. "New Balance gives me the platform to be creative in my own way and embrace that through them," he reveals. We also get a closer look at a current sneaker he's working on, which is rightfully labeled "intern" on the heel.
His deal with New Balance couldn't come at a better time, as the company has started rebuilding their basketball department. Most recently, the company signed Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard. His first signature basketball sneaker, the OMN1S, earlier this year.
It's only a matter of time until Bazley will be designing and playing in his own signature pair as he looks to enter the 2019 NBA Draft. Whether the outcome, Darius Bazley has made a name for himself. "I just want people to see that I went from a kid from high school to entering the business world."
Watch the full video with Darius Bazely above.