Nike signs deal with Akron Zips Since June2008, the Akron men's basketball program has been partnered withNike under which the Zips' shoes, game uniforms, warm ups andaccessories are licensed under the Nike and LeBron JamesTrademarks.The Zips are just one of four college programs in the countrythat are partnered with the LBJ line of Nike equipment [Kentucky,Miami (Fla.) and Ohio State]."I'm from Akron and The University of Akron is my hometownschool,” LeBron James said. “Becauseof my ties to the Akron community, the University and Coach Keith Dambrot, it is important to methat UA is designated as a Nike/LeBron James School. I want to besure that Coach Dambrot's guys look great head to toe."“This is just another example of LeBron’s commitmentto the city of Akron, its University and our basketballprogram,” Dambrot said. “This is important to us inmany ways. It furthers our connection to one of the greatestplayers in the world, helps improve our image as we strive tobecome one of the top mid-major programs in the nation and alsogives us a competitive edge in terms of recruiting.”The Nike/Akron partnership is a product of Dambrot’slong-standing relationship with James. As head coach ofAkron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (1998-99 through2000-01 season), Dambrot won a pair of state championships (2000and 2001) with James being a key component of the squad.