By AFRO Staff

The cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C. scored a major win with the Washington Wizards. The basketball team recently revealed the “Bloom City Edition” of their uniform for the 2022-23 season and the famous flower is front and center as the muse. 

With the help of their partnership with Nike and the NBA, the Wizards paid tribute to the iconic tree, synonymous with Spring in the nation’s capital. 

The Wizard’s City Edition uniform is a first, in that the country has never seen two major sports leagues collaborate on a special uniform for teams in the same market. 

Washington’s Major League Baseball team, The Washington Nationals also got into the cherry blossom spirit, with their debut of special uniforms slated for April 9.

“We are excited to announce our Cherry Blossom jersey  and look forward to seeing them on the court next season,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Hunter Lochmann, in a statement from the NBA. 

Courtesy of Monika Grabkowska for Unsplash

“Our great partnership with Nike and the Nationals and the timing of D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival allowed us to be the first NBA team to announce our 2022-23 City Edition uniform. We know Wizards fans have been asking for a Cherry Blossom jersey for some time, so we are glad it’s come to fruition.”

According to information released by the NBA, “the brand-new cherry blossom logo dots the ‘i’ in the Washington wordmark across the jersey’s chest, putting a fresh, floral spin on a staple of the team’s modern look. The uniform features three distinct cherry blossoms which sit just above the official NBA tag, mirroring the three-star design of the Washington, D.C. flag.” 

The NBA described the design by saying “the classic Wizards ball logo, which is displayed prominently on each side of the new-look shorts, connects the cherry blossom pink to the deep blue on the shorts.”

Courtesy of Yustinus Subiakto for Unsplash

Fans celebrated the cherry blossom season on March 29 inside theCapital One Arena, where the Wizards met the Chicago Bulls in their new digs. This is the third year the NBA has teamed up with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

“A portion of ticket proceeds supports the Trust for the National Mall’s Adopt a Cherry Tree program, supplementing year-round care for the iconic cherry trees. We thank the Washington Wizards for this opportunity and invite the entire region to join us in celebration of the blossoms during the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival through April 17″ said Diana Mayhew, National Cherry Blossom Festival President. 

The jerseys will be available to the public at the Capital One Arena Team Store or on the website, beginning in November 2022.

Keeping in line with the latest digital craze, a cherry blossom-themed NFT collection has been presented by FTX US at Cherry Blossom along with the opportunity to win a trip to Japan for the 2022 NBA Global Games. A special cherry blossom court will also be used when the Bloom City Edition uniforms are on display in the coming season.

The Washington Nationals will hit the baseball diamond in their “City Connect” jerseys against the New York Mets in April, with plans to use the jersey intermittently over the next three seasons.

According to the National Park Service, “The planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan.”

“In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or ‘Sakura,’ is an important flowering plant,” states information released by NPS. “The beauty of the cherry blossom is a symbol with rich meaning in Japanese culture. For more than a hundred years, we have [been] celebrating cherry trees blooming in solidarity.”

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!