Deandre Ayton’s new shoe continues his aid for the Bahamas
Puma released the RS-X Deandre on Thursday, Phoenix Suns rising star Deandre Ayton’s newest shoe. But this was no ordinary shoe drop.
Ayton has worked vigorously to aid the Bahamas’ recovery efforts after Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the island nation. Ayton was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas and had family present during the natural disaster.
In aid, he posted on Instagram that he donated $100,000 to various aid relief programs and hosted a supplies-drive at a Fry’s Grocery store in Phoenix. But, Ayton found a unique way to continue to help his home country.
As reported by The Undefeated, Puma is selling the RS-X with Ayton’s colorway, which displays aqua blue inspired by the Bahamian flag, for $120 dollars exclusively at Champs Sports. For every shoe sold, Puma will donate $25 to relief efforts.
The Champs in Scottsdale Fashion Square where the shoes first released was packed on Thursday. Ayton was present to oversee the debut, and pictures on Twitter showed lines that snaked around the entirety of the store. According to Dave King, editor of Bright Side of the Sun, the shoes “sold like crazy.”
Ayton sat down with The Undefeated’s Aaron Dobson to discuss the shoe and what it meant to him.
“To have the support of a partner like Puma is awesome. I really appreciate everything they continue to do for me,” Ayton said to Dobson. “This is just a huge step that they’re taking for me and my team to help out and do as much as we can for Hurricane Dorian relief.”
Ayton also inspired others in the Suns organization to take action.
He told The Undefeated that new Phoenix head coach Monty Williams donated $5,000 to UNICEF’s Hurricane relief and that small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is starting a pop-up clothes store in Phoenix where all proceeds will go to the Bahamas.
The death toll in Ayton’s homeland is 53 from the Hurricane and climbing due to thousands of missing people, according to the Wall Street Journal. Billions of pounds of debris are in the streets and property losses are estimated to be at $7 billion.
Ayton spent a lot of effort on charity for the Bahamas, but as the season approaches, most of his attention will turn back to basketball.
But the shoe that Puma and Ayton partnered on will continue to produce funds to the efforts that desperately need all of the help they can get.