For Michael Jordan it must’ve been the shoes.
For Akron Zips junior forward Demetrius Treadwell it may be the socks.
His small eccentricity has grabbed the attention of Zips fans on Twitter who have started to mention the Euclid native’s affinity for hosiery. It was even mentioned during a game’s television broadcast. He’s at a loss for words explaining its popularity.
“It's just something I started doing and it became an itty bitty thing and I stuck with it,” Treadwell said after Friday’s practice. “People just expect it now so I'm just going to keep it up.”
Rules come with Treadwell’s habit. The main one: for each game, there have been or will be a different pair of socks. For men’s clothing stores in the Akron area, that’s good news, especially if the Zips make it to the NCAA Tournament and go deep into it. And don’t think he just buys on a whim. Nope. Not a chance. There are criteria before making it on Treadwell’s feet.
“I just like something different,” he said, “something I really don't see too many other people wearing, something bold, bright, something with a crazy pattern on it, something I want to wear on the court. Something different - I just want to be different.”
Coach Keith Dambrot doesn’t care what Treadwell wears.
“I like Tree's socks. I think that's what makes him special. He's an eccentric guy,” he said. “He kind of (marches) to his own drum and if that motivates him to play hard, and that's his individual thing, I don't have any problem with it.”
Just because they only get worn in one game doesn’t mean he doesn’t have favorites. Before anyone noticed, he got really wild.
“I got this crazy checkered pair that I wore earlier this season,” he said. “People really weren't paying attention, but they were crazy and checkered with orange and yellow green and a whole bunch of different colors, I like that pair a lot.”
If people want a clue as to what he plans to wear Saturday against Bowling Green, he'll only say that they are Jordans. Beyond that, nothing. But there will be something on the line.
Currently the Zips own the country’s longest winning streak at 16 games. Some athletes would go through painstaking trouble to continue to repeat behaviors to ensure luck. Treadwell’s eccentricity isn’t one of superstition, however.
“I don't feel like a pair of socks are doing to determine whether we're going to win or not,” he said.
Averaging 11 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, it certainly seems as if it matters more who’s wearing the socks.