Duke player Zion Williamson injured when Nike shoe blows apart in game

on Feb21
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Duke's Zion Williamson (1) falls to the court under North Carolina's Luke Maye (32), injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Robert Willett | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) falls to the court under North Carolina’s Luke Maye (32), injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

A Duke University basketball player suffered an injury when his Nike shoe blew apart during a game.

Zion Williamson’s shoe ripped in half less than one minute into Duke’s game against the University of North Carolina on Wednesday.

Williamson fell down and injured his knee, keeping him out of the rest of the game.

Nike shares were down 1.6 percent in premarket trading Thursday morning.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance,” Nike said in a statement. “While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

This is bad press for Nike, said Liz Dunn, founder and CEO of retail analytics firm Pro4ma. One question is whether Williamson can now sue. He is required to wear Nike shoes according to the terms of the contract Nike has with Duke, she added.

“It’s a very tangled legal web,” Dunn said. “I would say that he shouldn’t sue if he’s managing his career appropriately. He’s got a long, long road ahead of him where he can make a lot of money, unless his injury is more serious.”

Williamson is considered one of the best players at the college level, leading to speculation about his future in the sport and the deals that could come with it.

Shares of Nike competitor Under Armour were up more than 2 percent Thursday morning as well. The incident could be an opportunity for the company to challenge Nike’s dominant position in basketball.

—CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report.



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