New Threads from Nike

Recycled polyester. That's the material used for the new Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms.

I'm certain I know more about basketball than fashion, but recycled polyester doesn't sound like something I would want to wear. But the release of these new uniforms for elite Nike teams has been all the buzz on the Internet today.

The Connecticut men will be the first team to wear them. The Huskies will walk the runway Sunday against Notre Dame in their platinum outfits. The UConn women, complete with red trim, will wear their version on Feb. 27 against Notre Dame.

Next month, other schools will be trending in these new threads. Joining in the fun will be the Baylor women, and the Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Syracuse men.

Of course, if you like them, Nike will let you buy them. The jersey, shorts, shoes, and warmup jackets will be available for purchase Feb. 4.

The pictures of these unis are really dark. I'll wait to pass final judgment when I see them in person. But my first reaction would be: "Glad these will be worn just once." Second reaction: "Add one of those Neil Armstrong helmets and you could wear these to play hoops on the moon."

Here's what Nike has to say:

We've reached the point of the season when the truly talented begin to distinguish themselves from the competition. And while teams desperately seek to set the gold standard for 2012, Nike will pay tribute to those who have already reached elite status by outfitting select teams in the next generation of college basketball design: the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniform.

As the latest and most innovative fit system, the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniform is designed at the intersection of sustainability and performance. The specially designed short and jersey combination will be worn by nine of the nation's top college basketball teams in select games during the 2012 season.

The nine teams all have won National Championships in Nike footwear and apparel. The programs donning the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms in 2012 include The University of Arizona, Baylor University (women's), Duke University, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, Syracuse University, The University of Connecticut (men's and women's) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nike created the uniforms specifically for superior performance and lower environmental impact. The fabric of the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum shorts are made from 100 percent recycled polyester while the jersey fabric is made from at least 96% recycled polyester. Both short and jersey are tailored for the optimal efficiency of movement and are five percent lighter than the previous Nike Hyper Elite uniform. Featuring laser-cut bonded logos, a sharp platinum design as well as prominent accent colors, the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms are sure to shine on the court.

"Nike is committed to producing top-of-the-line performance attire with reduced sacrifice to the environment," said Phil Cook, Nike's Brand Manager for Basketball. "With our Nike Hyper Elite Platinum design, Nike is maintaining its long-standing obligations to our fans to not only produce the best on-court looks but also a design that makes use of the resources we already have."

In 2011, Nike affirmed its commitment to increasing its use of more sustainable materials by doubling its use of recycled polyester, using approximately 440 million PET plastic bottles, enough to cover over 12,000 basketball courts, and 2012 will build off of those successes.

The short includes laser perforations in side panels for increased breathability while featuring a lightweight 4-way stretch woven design. The bonded hem detailing found on the short and the bonded back seam near the neckline on the jersey enhances both comfort and style. Additionally, the front of the jersey features a lightweight Nike Sphere fabric, while the back includes a full Nike Aerographics back panel.

The uniforms will hit the hardwood beginning late-January for some of oldest and strongest rivalries in college basketball. Dates include UConn vs. Notre Dame (1/29), Kentucky vs. Tennessee (1/31), Duke vs. Maryland (2/11), Baylor (women's) vs. Texas A&M (2/11), Florida vs. Tennessee (2/11), Syracuse vs. USF (2/22), Arizona vs. UCLA (2/25), UConn (women's) vs. Notre Dame (2/27) and UNC vs. Maryland (2/29).

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