While four-time All-Star point guard Kemba Walker may be a New Yorker through and through, he’s also deeply entangled in the heart and soul of New England since his days at the University of Connecticut, forever bound together with his magical run to the 2011 NCAA title with the Huskies.
And now as a Boston Celtic, Walker plans of giving back to his adopted home with an initiative to support Black-owned businesses for National Small Business Week in conjunction with Vistaprint. This initiative will take the shape of a Limited-Edition Capsule Collection featuring a sneaker and trading card collection to be auctioned off in support of the Power Forward Small Business Grant program. That program provides financial grants as well as marketing and design resources to help area business flourish.
The capsule collection will include a one-of-a-kind Panini trading card along with one-of-one pair of custom, game-worn sneakers.
According to a press release circulated by Walker's representation, the capsule will be auctioned off starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time starting on this coming Sunday, May 9 until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time the subsequent Wednesday (May 12) via the ‘I Got It’ mobile app (available for Android and IOS). The proceeds will then be used for the Power Forward Small Business Grant program, created to generate enduring economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England, with Vistaprint and the Celtics dedicating their Sunday home game against the Miami Heat to Boston-area and New England Businesses.
The Celtics and Vistaprint have already invested $1 million to the Power Forward Small Business Grant program, and will add to it with the new partnership with Walker. The UConn product is donating his partnership fee, with Vistaprint matching his donation. Soems, a Black Boston-based artist who has been commissioned for the custom Jordan 35 design included in the capsule, will showcase a handful of Walker’s favorite Black-owned businesses in Boston, including Mobar Cuts, The Urban Grape, Zaz and Murl’s Kitchen.
The Bronx native will then autograph the custom kicks before they are packaged in unique boxing that pays homage to the Celtics' famed parquet flooring of TD Garden.
“It’s clear Vistaprint is committed to leaving its imprint in the Boston and greater New England communities and I am excited to team up with them for this capsule collection which will support Black-owned small businesses,” said Walker via the release. “Between the exclusive gear and the great cause, you won’t want to miss this auction.”
The singular Panini trading card will also be autographed by Walker, and the capsule will also have a swatch including a game-worn Vistaprint patch.
For more details on the Power Forward Small Business Grant program and how it helps support local, Black-owned businesses with its rolling $25,000 grants in partnership with the NAACP, be sure to click here. And be sure to mark your calendar and download the app if you want to get in on the bidding action to support this outstanding cause. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=49979,49980,49941,49932] [listicle id=49997]