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To say that Andy Grass is resilient would be an understatement. He was critically injured when a wave rolled a log over him on the beach, crushing much of his body and collapsing both of his lungs. He spent more than three weeks at Doernbecher, where doctors worked around the clock to stabilize his injuries and get him breathing on his own again. Andy's remarkable journey is documented on his Kyrie 2, which features a wealth of colors, symbols and phrases that speak to his path to recovery and his many inspirations.
“I wanted to make my shoe to honor the people that helped me during my recovery,” says Andy. “I tried to make the shoe blue and white because that’s my basketball team’s colors. The 'GRASS STRONG' part is the tagline that people use to remember me. It was made as an encouragement to my parents and my family.”
When it came to realizing Andy's design, Footwear Developer Raleigh Willard joined the project, and Andy's overall team, with a singular aim. "From a development perspective, our goal is always to achieve the design intent and to say 'yes.' Andy’s a great decision maker," says Raleigh. "He instantly knew what he wanted. Each time the shoe evolved, we all learned something.”

Graphic Designer Jen Delaney echoes Raleigh's sentiments. "You really build off of everybody's energy in an effort to make the best shoe and apparel."
“My favorite part of the shoe is the Joy Swoosh," reveals Andy. "It's an ode to my Aunt Peggy." The shoe's primary Swoosh, embedded in the speckled midsole, features the word 'JOY' repeatedly printed in Andy's own handwriting. The heel of the shoe, however, features the handwriting of the signature sneaker's namesake.
“We got Kyrie Irving to write ‘#0’ for the back of the shoe, so one shoe is Kyrie’s and one shoe is Andy’s," says Raleigh. For Andy, his Kyrie 2 design is really an ode to his friends and family, which notably comes to life under each strap. 'LOVE MOM,' for example, can be seen in bold lettering under the strap on the left shoe in the pair.
Further illuminating Andy's recovery story via unique aesthetic elements, the Kyrie 2 features special UV-sensitive material."Material Designer Anum Malik and I have a chance, working in Nike Sportswear, to explore materials that performance footwear sometimes can’t," says Raleigh. "When Andy is in recovery, he’s not able to play outside. So, we wanted to incorporate his goal to recover and get back on an outdoor court or field. We’re celebrating that he can be outside with the UV-sensitive 'GRASS' and 'STRONG' on the straps.”

Overall, Andy wants his Kyrie 2 to encourage others as much as the shoe, and the messages throughout, encourage his family. “No matter what, anybody can overcome even the worst things," reminds Andy. Raleigh, Jen and Anum certainly echo that sentiment. "I was all in right away," says Anum. "it's generally been so refreshing. The project and Andy have definitely inspired me to open my mind and go bold."
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