“Rest in Peace”: NBA World Pays Its Respect to the Late Teacher Who Was Once Honored by Michael Jordan’s Billion Dollar Endeavor

Published 06/30/2023, 5:15 PM EDT

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Michael Jordan and Air Jordans are synonymous. It’s probably the biggest shoe-brand collaboration ever! Apart from the legend himself, the brand also collaborated with many celebrities, including Travis Scott, Supreme, Off-White, and many more. While some of these collaborations were only for collectibles, others fetched sentiments.

Among countless collaborations, one was for a social cause. And behind the shoe this time, it wasn’t a famous star or an NBA legend. It was a teacher. A self-proclaimed sneakerhead made these amazing shoes possible through her talent. However, the teacher and community leader from California recently passed away. But, her message will always live on!

Michael Jordan fans pay respect to the teacher/sneakerhead


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Ms. Virginia Wright spent the majority of her life inspiring young students and guiding them toward a better future for themselves. For her unique taste in sneakers, she was later called by the name SP Gina. For the later parts of her life, she used this name on social media to raise awareness among children. She believed in bettering society through education and moral values. For years, she has helped kids to excel in school.

As a teacher, she used her love for sneakers to connect with young sneakerheads, spreading her messages. She continuously advocated the power of education to change the world.


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SP Gina’s love for sneakers

Virginia Wright taught in the Franklin McKinley School District for 35 years. She worked as a fill-in teacher at Santee later. She’s widely shared her experience with shoes and sneaker culture.

She mentioned that when she started getting into shoes, kids began to notice her. They would ask her about the Jordans she wore, and she realized she had a special connection with them. It made her feel like she could relate to them and understand them better. And that later made her a social media influencer for her love of sneakers.

Her collaboration with Air Jordan for ‘SP Gina’ AJ1 saw an apple hangtag as a nod to the teacher, with a lunchbox-themed shoebox.

The excitement for her dedicated sneakers grew and Shoe Palad held an early release. This allowed more people to participate in the Scantron test, administered by the teacher herself, to test people’s sneaker knowledge. Those who passed this test bought the shoes.

And that’s how a teacher sells shoes. We’re amazed!

After her passing, some fans took to social media to show their respect for the teacher.

One fan said, “Harder than any spider man collab.”


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A fan writes, “This was one of the coolest events that was put on that I’ve been too. The SPG was such a sweet lady. RiP”, and another writes, “Need more teachers like this! 👏 RIP SP GINA”

Shoe Palace commented on the post too. They simply write “Rest in paradise, SP Gina,”


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Watch This Story: Despite Earning $2,975,000,000 Profit, Michael Jordan’s Extortionate Net Worth Remains 6X Lesser Than Another Active Athlete

What do you think of this collab? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Written by:

Almas Saad


One take at a time

Mohammad Almas Saad is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Almas has over four years of experience writing about the sport he loves. He began right after college and has composed more than 500 stories.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja