Friday, August 23, 2013

The Adidas Tour

My recent crusade has been to introduce Vaughn to careers that touch basketball but aren't actually playing basketball in the event that the NBA becomes a dream deferred. I'm hoping this will also help him see that school can lead to really cool jobs since after he starts middle school I imagine we'll be in for one long string of why-do-I-have-to-learn-this?

One of the things he loves to do is design and draw basketball shoes- a natural combination of his skills and passions. Like Jacob, he's doggedly determined when he's into something and he told me that he spent a half hour on the computer the other night trying to find out what the fabric was that lined the inside of his shoe. At the risk of seeming like a helicopter parent, I enlisted my friend Jill to use her connections to get him a tour at the Adidas campus with her friend, Anthony, who does shoe design for the skateboard division.

Vaughn got up early today and in typical fashion, carefully picked out his best all-Adidas outfit for the occasion and then pulled together his list of questions and two shoe designs (which, despite gentle prodding on my part, were never pulled out of my bag).

Anthony was amazing and spent well over an hour taking us around to see all the steps in the Adidas shoe design process. When he had to leave for a meeting, he left us with his co-worker, Thomas, who designs for the basketball division. Unfortunately by this time, Vaughn was wearing down a little, which was understandable since we had been there for almost two hours and had walked all over the campus and learned so much.

Out of all the people we met, three of them said they had begun drawing and designing shoes when they were right around Vaughn's age. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in life but I think a job where you get to play basketball at work on your lunch hour has to be high on the list.
Vaughn with Dwight Howard and Damian Lillard's shoes

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