Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers has game on the court and virtually

Home » Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers has game on the court and virtually
Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers has game on the court and virtually

Memorial Day weekend looked different from a normal holiday cookout for Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers and her father Juan. As Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals tipped off, the Powers family looked at Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum’s feet as he sported her “Camo” Player Edition of the Jordan Tatum 2.

Powers designed the colorway with Jordan as a tribute to her father, a sergeant in the Marines. 

“It was a moment that I’ll never forget,” Powers said. “Jayson Tatum is one of my favorite basketball players. It really meant a lot to me that he wore those shoes in one of the biggest games of his life, not because it’s Tatum, but because those shoes are a thank you to my dad and all veterans.”

The 2016 All-Rookie team member credits her father for her work ethic and attack strategy for dealing with adversity. 

“Tatum wearing the shoes meant so much to me and my family and it gave me a sense of inspiration to keep going even with a chip on my shoulder especially after everything I went through last year with not playing as much,” Power said.

Before being traded to the Atlanta Dream in February, Powers played for the Minnesota Lynx for three seasons. She was a starter on the team, but as the 2023 season progressed, she occasionally saw the floor for five minutes. Powers is now a starting guard with the Dream, averaging 8.3 points and three rebounds per game.

Even with her fluctuating minutes, Powers still looks forward to styling outfits around her favorite Jordan 1 colorways for walk-in pictures. When Powers saw Tatum in her PE, it inspired Powers, who won a WNBA championship in 2019 with the Washington Mystics, to continue her quest for a second championship. As Powers watched Game 5, she continued to text and call her father.

“Seeing one of the top players in my shoe was a reminder to me and my dad about how hard we have worked towards this point and for me to continue to see success in this league,” Powers said.

Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers wears the “Camo” Jordan Tatum 2 sneakers during the game against the Washington Mystics on May 29 at Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington.
Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers wears the Jordan Tatum 1 sneakers. She occasionally writes “Play 4 God” on her game shoes.

The inspiration for the “Camo” Tatum 2 has been intertwined with different parts of Powers’ life since middle school, starting with her introduction to video games. Growing up, Powers and her younger brother Juan Jr. engaged in small bickering as siblings tend to do. Once, over the course of a few weeks, Powers noticed her brother playing video games and talking into a headset.

“Who are you talking to on that thing?” Powers asked.

Her brother explained he was playing Call of Duty online with strangers.

“Come on, man, show me, show me!” Powers said.

Juan Jr. showed Powers how to play, and she said she fell in love immediately.

“My dad eventually came in and was like, ‘You guys are too quiet in here,’ ” Powers said. “He was surprised to see us getting along. My dad is a Marine through and through so, he naturally likes Call of Duty, too. The next day, he came home with two more Xboxes and two new headsets. We were in this small house just driving my mom insane with all the noise. We’re screaming into the headsets but sitting right next to each other. Since then, it’s just been a part of my life.”

Powers has transformed her love of gaming into advocating for female gamers. She started out by representing the esports organization Team Liquid by spearheading their diversity and inclusion efforts and is now a co-owner. She’s also active with the Global Esports Federation and is a member of the organization’s Athletes, Players and Community Commission.

Aerial Powers wears Jordan Brand apparel and footwear.

Jordan Brand

Atlanta Dream guard Aerial Powers wearing Jordan Brand clothing. “Everybody instantly sees you as soon as you walk into a room,” she said.

Jordan Brand

During the coronavirus pandemic, she grew closer to her soon-to-be teammate, Dream guard Allisha Gray, when they played Call of Duty and NBA 2K together.

“In the pandemic, we used to get on the game at 10 p.m. and wouldn’t get off until 3 in the morning,” Powers said. “I would get up, go work out and then get back on for another three or so hours.”

Powers also uses avatars within her games to express creativity in fashion and sneakers. Creating her My Player reminds her that much remains to be done to advance women’s equality.

“You can buy WNBA jerseys and WNBA T-shirts within the game for your player and put whatever sneakers you want on them,” Powers said. “But I think it can go even a step further to help girls get involved by having gaming charity events, tournaments and STEM programming to encourage them centered around gaming.”

Outside of her console, Powers has a real-life alter ego named Spiderwoman. When Powers activates her alter ego, she wears a white Spiderwoman costume and tries to go undetected to open runs and gyms.

“Spiderwoman has become so popular amongst my fans that in Los Angeles people know me as Spiderwoman before they know me as Aerial Powers the WNBA player,” Powers said.

To follow up the “Camo” Tatum 2, Powers wants to combine her obsession with gaming and sneakers. She wants to create a Spiderwoman PE colorway that includes the shoes of fellow Jordan athletes Tatum, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

“Wearing Jordans and Jordan apparel is incomparable to me,” Powers said. “Everybody instantly sees you as soon as you walk into a room.”

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