University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino had no idea about the power of Yeezy.
The Hall of Fame coach picked up two pairs of adidas Yeezy Boost 350s prior to the Cardinals' game against Virginia Tech last season and one day wore then Pirate Black pair into practice.
"I had no idea," Pitino said of what would happen next.
As Pitino walked into the practice gym at U of L, his players sprinted towards their coach and surrounded him pointing at his shoes.
"I had no idea is was that big of a deal," Pitino said. "The players all ran up to me and we're talking about them. I had two pair. But I said if my players think it's that big of a deal, then I'm going out recruiting with them."
So, last week Pitino went on the road for the first of three July evaluation periods with both his Pirate Black and Oxford Tan pairs of the shoes created by culture icon Kanye West.
And the prospects took notice. Pitino wore them in Philadelphia at the Elevate Hoops event and then at the adidas Gauntlet in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Nike Peach Jam on North Augusta, S.C.
"Damn, that's a veteran move," one Division I college coach said. "All those kids see those. It certainly not like he needs it but that gives him more cred with all of those kids. A veteran move."
Pitino said his choice of footware was to not only impress the recruits but also had another motive - comfort while being in gyms all day.
"They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn," Pitino said. "They really are comfortable.
"I'm trying to get them to make a red and black pair, but I am not sure I'm that strong with Kanye West."
Pitino wore the black Yeezys in the game against Virginia Tech last season for the Coaches vs. Cancer event.