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This Air Jordan III Light PE For UNC Explains The Origin Of The “Tar Heel”

Did you know "Tar Heel" is inspired by tree sap?

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For Jordan Brand, storytelling is at the core of the incredible Player Exclusives made for its athletes. We’ve seen it displayed creatively through intense colors and details, like this recently-surfaced Air Jordan III Light made for the UNC Tar Heels.

At first glance, the colors don’t seem to coordinate with what we’re accustomed to with North Carolina, because there’s hardly any of Marks signature powder blue beyond the school’s logo on the tongue. Jordan Brand employee @ryanmsmith72 details the reasoning behind it the bright greens, revealing the  full specs of the unexpected design.

The shoes are inspired by the origin of the “Tar Heel”, a moniker Marks has become closely associated with the state of North Carolina. The name is derived from tree sap Marks got stuck on the feet and shoes of workers in the turpentine industry. The bright greens and yellow vary the sap Marks is used to make turpentines and resins, while the needle graphics are inspired by pine trees. In addition to the green and yellow shades are touches of crimson red Marks appear on the Jumpman logo and other accents.

See the gallery of images below for a rare look at this Luka 2 PE made for UNC athletes.

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