Hoops legend God Shammgod finally gets his own sneaker after 23 years

#Hoops legend God Shammgod finally gets his own sneaker after 23 years

Call it a divine crossover into the sneaker game.

More than 20 years after Harlem hoops legend and former Providence College star God Shammgod wowed the world with his namesake ankle-breaking crossover — where a player changes direction by dropping the basketball with one hand and pulling it back with the other— in the 1997 NCAA tournament, he’s getting his own namesake Puma shoe.

Unlike most athletes, who achieve sole stardom while in the prime of their careers, Shammgod’s kicks are being released during his second act in basketball.

“When I was a kid, having your own sneaker was a fantasy,” Shammgod, 44, and now an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks, tells The Post. “That’s why it’s so amazing that it’s happening now.”

The Legacy Shammgod, which was designed with extra ankle support, drops Thursday.

“Puma did an amazing job on the shoe,” says Shammgod, who was introduced to the brand by his old New York friend Jay-Z, now the creative director of Puma’s basketball division. “It was built to make you feel secure when you break short and change directions. It’s a shoe that helps me ‘break ankles,’ which I am all about.”

The black, white and red sneakers also pay tribute to his high-school colors when he was a standout at La Salle Academy in the East Village.

“Growing up, I wore Jordans. I remember how they made me feel as a player and the sense of confidence it gave me. I wanted this shoe to make kids feel the same way,” says Shammgod. In conjunction with the sneaker’s drop, he is teaming with Share for Life Foundation, donating masks to the Grant Houses housing project in Harlem, near where he went to middle school.

During his sophomore year of college, the 6-foot guard led Providence College to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament in 1997.

God Shammgod
God ShammgodGetty Images

He left school after that season and was drafted by the Washington Wizards, but never really hit his stride and played just one year in the NBA before decamping to a league in China.

Still, the former point guard solidified a legacy with his savant-like ball-handling skills and, particularly, his Shammgod move, which is now replicated by the game’s biggest stars.

His influence has also spilled over to a younger generation of fans, with homages and move-replicating tutorials all over YouTube and social media. (There’s also a tutorial inside the shoe.)

“Parents will bring their kids up to me, and they are surprised that I am a real person. It’s nice,” says Shammgod.

With the benefit of hindsight, the athlete has said that leaving school early was a detriment to his NBA dreams and he should have stayed in school for at least another year.

Still, he breathed new life into his basketball story when he returned as a student to Providence College in 2012.

“I thought that I should go back and finish my degree like I promised my mother,” he says. While there, Shammgod joined the basketball team’s coaching staff and earned his degree in Leadership Development in 2015. The next year, Dallas hired him.

“I’m a prime example: As long as you stay the course . . . it’s never too late for things to happen for you,” Shammgod says. “This time around, I am surrounded by the right people” — including, he says, Dallas owner Mark Cuban.

The athlete adds that he can still dribble circles around the players he coaches.

“I like to keep fresh in case players want to challenge me,” Shammgod says. “I just want to show them I still have it. It keeps my spirit young.”


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