February 22, 2019 / 3:29 AM / 4 months ago

College basketball notebook: Nike under fire for shoe blowout

Nike’s stock price slid 1.05 percent Thursday as the company faced a social media backlash after Duke freshman star forward Zion Williamson sustained a knee injury when his shoe split apart Wednesday night.

FILE PHOTO: Feb 20, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts after falling during the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Shares in Nike Inc. were down as much as 1.7 percent before rebounding a bit.

Williamson was injured 30 seconds into the game when he planted his left foot while dribbling near the top of the key. His left shoe ripped apart down the middle of the sole as he sprawled awkwardly to the ground. He did not return to the highly anticipated matchup, and eighth-ranked North Carolina defeated the top-ranked Blue Devils, 88-72.

After an MRI exam Thursday, Williamson was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right knee sprain, and he is listed as day-to-day. Williamson was wearing the Nike PG 2.5, a Paul George-themed model.

—If Williamson is picked outside of the NBA draft lottery because of the knee injury, he could reportedly cash in an $8 million loss of value insurance policy.

Darren Rovell of The Action Network reported the star forward took out a policy with International Specialty Insurance that kicks in if he is selected 16th or later in June’s draft.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound freshman has been projected by most experts as the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft.

—Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian while driving on Interstate 690 late Wednesday night.

The 74-year-old Boeheim is cooperating with authorities and reported the accident to police, according to Syracuse.com. Jorge Jimenez, 51, of Syracuse, was transported to Upstate University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to the police investigation, Jimenez was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control on the road and struck a guardrail. He stepped out of the car and was walking on the side of the highway when he was hit at 11:22 p.m. Boeheim saw the disabled vehicle in the road and tried to avoid it, police said.

—Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles took to social media to apologize for a “flippant remark” he made earlier this week about the possibility of being fired by the school.

Miles said on a podcast Sunday that “I’m still a millionaire” if Nebraska decides to fire him after a disappointing season in which the Cornhuskers sit near the bottom of the Big Ten standings. The remark did not go over well in Lincoln.

The Cornhuskers are 15-12, 5-11 after returning four starters from a team that finished fourth in the Big Ten last year. Nebraska made the NCAA Tournament just once in Miles’ first six seasons.

—Field Level Media

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