Cassius Life Featured Video
Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets

Source: Sarah Stier / Getty

Some of the world’s biggest athletes are leaving the bigger sports brands like Nike and adidas for niche brands, and often, it’s because they desire more autonomy.

That includes Kyrie Irving, who ended his relationship with Nike in 2022 after the latter decided not to renew his contract amid his antisemitic remarks. Now, he’s taken his talents overseas to form a partnership with Chinese brand Anta, the third largest manufacturer behind Nike and adidas.

Now, with this new relationship, he’s made his first signing, and no, it’s not one of his contemporaries or his teammates, but his dad.

According to the Athletics‘ Shams Charania, Irving has signed Drederick Irving to a signature shoe deal, making it the first time in history someone has signed their father to a sneaker deal.

“Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving is signing the first signature athlete for his ANTA shoe line: His father, Drederick Irving,” Charania tweeted. “This marks the first time in pro sports a player has signed his dad to a signature shoe deal.”


Drederick, a Bronx native, got his start at Adlai E. Stevenson High School before committing to Boston University while gaining his stature as an all-city and all-division.

While at BU he led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior year and officially became the school’s all time leading scorer in 1988, when they also retired his jersey and inducted him into the BU Athletic Hall Of Fame.

He had a short-lived professional career in Australia, which is where Kyrie was born.

Now, some 30-plus years later, the senior Irving’s getting his own shoe, which, according to Charania, will hit Foot Locker stores as soon as September.

Irving first signed his Anta deal in July 2023 and debuted the ANTA KAI 1 in February, and its design and tech pay homage to his quick-moving footwork and dribbling prowess.

Plus, he’s the brand’s Chief Creative Director, which surely provides him with certain luxuries—like signing his father.

See how social media is reacting to the historic sneaker deal below.