The Pistons’ Langston Galloway Hoped a Sneaker Brand Would Believe in Him All Along

Langston Galloway of the Detroit Pistons was faced with a problem. No sneaker company took a chance on him by giving him a deal. This might have left many aspiring pro basketball players dejected. Instead, Galloway turned into a tremendous opportunity. 

Let’s take a closer look at the amazing journey of Langston Galloway from “player without a shoe deal” to “incredibly savvy businessman.” 

Langston Galloway’s underdog NBA career

Galloway played collegiately at Saint Joseph’s and was undrafted. Currently in his fifth NBA season with his fourth NBA team, he’s played for the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, and New Orleans Pelicans before landing with the Detroit Pistons. With the Pistons since the 2017-18 season, here’s what he’s accomplished in his career so far:

  • 354 games played
  • 8.4 points per game
  • 2.6 rebounds per game 
  • 1.7 assists per game
  • 81.2% shooting from the free-throw line
  • 39% shooting from the field
  • 11.6 Player Efficiency Rating
  • 11.7 Win Shares 
  • 2014-2015 All-Rookie Team selection

Galloway’s love of sneakers

In a piece penned for sneaker site Sole Collector, Galloway explained that his love for sneakers began at the age of 10. He talked about his first pair of Air Jordans, and the feeling he had wearing them. Since then, his collection has grown exponentially.

Entering the NBA, Galloway didn’t have a big shoe deal with a company like Adidas, Nike, or Reebok. He went a different route, partnering with a startup called Q4 to design a sneaker. Galloway started his own line called LG Kicks, which showcases his personal collection of sneakers while letting other fans share theirs.

“My wife and I started,” explained the Pistons player, “so we could test the market of selling the collection and see if it’s a true draw to maybe one day open my own sneaker store.” Galloway went on to explain that he’d talked with NBA player and sneaker store owner Bobby Simmons, who helped him understand the good and bad of owning a store.

Galloway used his entrepreneurial spirit to turn a negative situation — not having a sneaker deal — into a positive and a potentially lucrative business opportunity. The 27-year-old has also taken some other steps to improve his acumen as a sneaker executive.

What is the Sneaker Essentials program? 

To take his love of sneakers to the next level, Galloway completed a class operated by Complex Magazine known as Sneaker Essentials. It’s helped him during his journey as a “sneaker free agent.”

The online education program, as Complex describes, accounts for every aspect of the sneaker industry. Covering everything from design to retail to advertising, the six-course, 30-hour program translates the “passion for sneakers into real-world knowledge and skills that open doors to meaningful career pathways.” 

Now that he’s completed the course, Galloway’s goal is to provide young entrepreneurs access to the class through his charitable organization, the Langston Galloway Foundation. His journey with sneakers is another example of what makes sports so great.