#1 Basketball Coach & D1 Player Talk About Importance of Shoes & Ankle Sprain

In this podcast interview, Coach Eric Pangburn and D1 Player Filippos Gkogkos from University of Miami talk about the life as a Division 1 player and importance of basketball shoes for the game.

Filippos Gkogkos is an NABC Honors Court and played 2 times in NCAA tournament.


  • Life of Division 1 player at the University of Miami
  • How often do D1 players replace shoes
  • Access to equipment and gear for D1 players
  • About putting shoes inserts
  • How to prevent ankle sprains in basketball.
  • Importance of basketball weight
  • Preference on low tops vs high tops?
  • Experience with ankle sprains in the caree


Eric  0:00  

Morning. I just want to introduce today that I’m having an interview with D1 Player Filippos Gkogkos. I recognized or connected with LG back several years ago on Reddit. And now I’m on his overly popular discord. And he is a division one athlete at the University of Miami and played over internationally as well. And now, we are so excited to have him today for us talking about some basketball shoes. Hey, welcome FG.

Filippos  0:32  

Thank you for having me.

Eric  0:33  

Hey, so why don’t we get started once you just tell me a little bit about your playing history and what was what’s it like playing Division One at the University of Miami if you could?

Filippos  0:44  

Absolutely. So I grew up in Bucharest, Romania. And that’s where I played basketball. I started playing just about middle school and I played through high school. It’s a bit different there you have club teams, not necessarily high school team. So you play for a club. And that’s connected to a senior team. So play for a club team all throughout high school, we won a couple championships there that are really good time and eventually made it my way to to the University of Miami where I’ve been playing for four years now. I’m a senior walked on the team my freshman year. And it’s it’s absolutely great. It’s been an amazing experience playing with high level do you want prospect said we’ll make the NBA, connecting with amazing coaching staff learning from them learning game, having access to amazing facilities that you can train in every day and continue perfecting your craft. Of course, the games are extremely intense. When we’re in season, we got about two or three games a week. So it’s just an overall amazing experience.

Eric  1:51  

Yeah, I get I take appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule out of all these games and everything like that. So. So here here, I just want to start off with talking about some basketball shoes today with you. And here’s here’s a simple one. I’m just kind of curious as a division one athlete, when was the last time you actually bought a pair of basketball shoes? I can’t remember. I was gonna say it has to be probably back back at high school. I was gonna say so.

Filippos  2:21  

For last year I bought was I think in 2018 some Russell Westbrook Jordan edition, Nike came out with I can’t remember the exact model but I think they were one of my favorite shoes. If I find them, I’ll send them to you.

Eric  2:39  

Okay, yeah, send me some similar pitcher pitcher. Oh, yeah.

Filippos  2:44  

So yeah, I haven’t bought shoes in a while they’re they just supplies with open anything you want in terms of gear, shoes, socks, you know, tight, whatever we need there. They supply us with all of that stuff.

Eric  2:58  

So that was gonna I was gonna get into so what kind of as a as a division one athlete basketball shoes were how do you go about picking the basketball shoes that you want? Does the school have a selection? Or? Or how does that work for you.

Filippos  3:12  

So we’re sponsored by Adidas for the school. So we only get Adidas Gear D, the shoes, the this T shirts and stuff like that. And I think they have a catalogue every season of about 20 pairs that they give us. Occasionally, they give us like two three pairs every other week at the start of the season. And I go, I mean, I try every single stream they give us. I kind of know which ones I’m gonna like before I even wear them. And the process for me is picking a shoe that I like that fits me, well. That’s white. I prefer low tops, mostly. But I prefer the high tops and times as well. And then it’s just breaking the shoe and I’m not the type of guy who wears new shoes every practice or every game. I know some guys do that. But I like picking one or two breaking it in wearing it for a couple of weeks, a few months maybe until you know it gets kind of ruined and then I changed a diaper I get a new one. And when I get a new one it’s either the same model as last one a new model that I happen to like

Eric  4:20  

so what’s the what’s the first thing that you look at? Besides being possibly low top? Do you look at like the weight or like how will it grip the court or what are you looking at personally?

Filippos  4:31  

Yeah, I look at the weight so that’s one big thing. One is the weight the second is the cushioning as well so I like shoes a lot of cushioning inside. I recently worsened trade some hard and volume sixes I think okay, and they had good cushioning in the heel area. So I like those shoes a lot. I like wishes a lot as well as the Trey young two point nose.

Filippos  4:58  

We got them and those They’re super light super low. He’s got a sock on. So weight is a big factor for me. In terms of grip, all of them have grip. Yeah. Especially since we’re all while he’s playing indoor. I’m not worried about grip. Okay. Yeah, yeah.

Eric  5:17  

Do you? Do you go bounce? And how do you go about breaking in your basketball shoes? Do you just play him as much as possible? Do you have any other special things

Filippos  5:27  

planned as much as possible? I always I also wear them to the weight room as well. So we live quite often. So whenever there’s a weightlifting session, and it’s unusual, I always wear it to break it in or walk on it, you know? And, of course, playing it and playing in it during practice during individual workouts.

Eric  5:50  

How? How often do you do you reorder a new shoe? Or how long? Does your shoes last? Playing at a division one level for you? Normally? When do you feel like you need to replace your shoes?

Filippos  6:04  

Yeah, it varies. I recently got rid of some old harnesses I had, and I had those for about two, three months, maybe? Okay. So I’d say about two, three months, yeah,

Eric  6:14  

usually two or three months, then it’s on to the next pair. In the next period,

Filippos  6:18  

I might have two pairs that I interchange, okay. So then it takes a bit longer, but it’s about two or three months ratio.

Eric  6:26  

And how do you go about it, you just tell a manager? Or do you tell your coach had to reorder? Or do you have access to all that all the time? Or how’s that work for you?

Filippos  6:35  

Yeah, we have somebody who’s in charge of the equipment and the gear. So I just got to ask him, if I can get a new pair of shoes, they have a full closet where they have hundreds of boxes of shoes needed to pick one out of there.

Eric  6:51  

Gotcha. Gotcha. And so you said your team is actually a dealer sponsor? Is that right? Do the sponsor? Yeah. So what happens if you want or if a teammate wants Nike or Under Armour? What do they do? Or do they have to wear Adidas since they are under that sponsorship?

Filippos  7:10  

You must wear Adidas. Yeah. So first practice, I have changed. So I came with Nike shoes to wear. And they immediately told me, they immediately brought me a new pair, because I mean, they have some sparkle coming into practice. And if you see other branches, I’ll tell you that what are you doing?

Eric  7:30  

Right? Right. So every time you step on the court, probably even in the weight room route of representing University of Miami, you have to you have to be an Adidas apparel hub or gear. Makes sense? So not so. So how does that change with the ni l? These days of SES? So if a kid is sponsored by an IL with Adidas, or, or different things like that, how does that affect them? Or how does that work? Contractual wise? Or do you know sponsor wise how that works?

Filippos  8:02  

So some in terms of inasmuch as I know, because I can’t do it, I’m International. From what I’ve heard, from what I know, from my teammates, any NFL deal that’s done. Basically, the university name is out of the deal. It’s not You’re not affiliated with the university, it’s just the player and the name of the player himself. So say, if one of my teammates wants to do an advertisement for some, a company, they can wear any new Miami logo for a match. That’s, that’s that’s the rule.

Eric  8:38  

Yeah. So then taking University of Miami out of it, then that that clears them from other brands and different things like that. And they are able to at least put it on there, put it a video out there or different things like that. That makes sense initially, strictly just using their name as the as that so do you what other accessories do you wear with your shoe or that you’re doing? Do you buy inserts and put any inserts? Or do you buy any other special things for your shoes that you’re doing? Or are you also I’m sure that every division one athletes is being taped every day? You get ankle taped? And then do you do anything else for the suit? Or is it literally just you know, one pair of socks and one pair of shoes and you’re good?

Filippos  9:23  

Yeah, I’m one of the few guys who has nothing. I don’t wear any accessories. I don’t get. I don’t want to. I don’t wear sleeves. I don’t I don’t wear tights. Okay. Most of the times I don’t wear tight, I might wear an undershirt. That’s it. I just grew up playing like that. I just find that more comfortable. I know a lot of guys get taped. I usually get saved after an ankle sprain. But I don’t I don’t like it. Spokes up my feet. Like prevents ankle mobility to Yeah. But I do have shoe soles. I think she was polls are important. I like you know, the inserts. So our team Dr. Larry Trainor, he, he makes sure we all get inserts for shoes. Because I mean, yeah, foot health is really important. Yeah. Yeah. For basketball players.

Eric  10:20  

So is that just an extra cushion? Or is that specifically designed for your foot? Or how does it work? Or is it a specific brand? Are you able to dimension or share?

Filippos  10:29  

It’s just, you know, question, general question. Yeah, nothing special.

Eric  10:35  

And you just throw that in your in your shoe, cut it, cut it to size, or is it come fit fitted for your shoe? Sometimes it’s kind of the size. Yeah. And then put it in and then and then you’re, you’re off off to it. You feel like there’s other there are other shoes that are that you’ve worn specifically recently that have so much cushion that you don’t feel like those? Those are needed? Or are you always putting those putting those in, even if the even if the shoes are the most cushioned?

Filippos  11:01  

So with my tray young to hornos the ones I’m wearing right now, I don’t have any, any inserts inside. They’re just super comfortable. So I’m just wearing them like that. Okay. Yeah, and I have two pairs of those. So I interchange them. So these are gonna be my shoes for the next two or three months. And I don’t have any answers for those

Eric  11:17  

snacks. And what’s that again? What was the what? What is that? Exactly? The tray?

Filippos  11:22  

Tray younger? 2.21? Okay, I’ll send you one of those two.

Eric  11:26  

Okay, that’d be great. That’d be great. What do you guys do you remember what you were? Last year? What was your favorite shoe that you wore last basketball season? Did you do ever come down to one and say this is the one that I really like? And if so what was like the biggest characteristic that that stood out that you really liked about them?

Filippos  11:46  

Yeah, there was one. Let me make sure that I’m getting it was it was the Damian Lillard. Some high tops. I think they were the sixes. I’m not sure the exact No,

Eric  12:00  

no. Yeah.

Filippos  12:03  

Damian Lillard shoes. Super comfortable. We get a lot of deeming lever to choose. And there’s, they’re amazing. They’re really comfortable. Like, I remember those were high tops as well. And they were, they were like, I’m a shooter. So I just run off screens, I run a lot during practice during games. So I like light shoe that I can run it. That’s why I tend to stay away from high tops, because you’re heavier in general, loads are more, you know, track shoes, so you can run faster in them, and they’re lighter. But these high tops were amazing. So there’s a middle everyone, so I’ll send a photo of them. Gonna chat.

Eric  12:45  

Awesome, awesome. So the best views that you’re that I’m hearing you say are the are the lightest and the most most Christian that don’t even need the inserts? Or are the ones that you kind of fall in love with? And really kind of like and enjoy? Hmm,

Filippos  12:58  

yeah, I know a lot of players need answers because they’re flat footed. I’ve heard that a lot. So for players that actually need inserts, I mean, isn’t flat footed and the shoe isn’t going to provide that kind of support support that any. But for, for general players that don’t wear inserts, I mean, these are great options.

Eric  13:18  

Yeah. So how do you? How do you prevent an ankle sprain? In basketball, which is probably the number one most common injury? In basketball? Is the ankle sprain with a shoe How do you support or find or look for a shoe that is going to give you the ankle support that you need? Or do you have any other things? Or do you do just preventative stuff? Or what what would you talk about how to prevent ankle sprains?

Filippos  13:48  

Yeah, so I mean with the whole debate about what shoes you should wear, and my opinion, in my experience, the only times I’ve had ankle sprains over the high top shoes, so even my top shoes that you would think prevent ankle sprains don’t actually prevent because I mean, the weight of your body isn’t going to be stopped by some a little bit cushion. I know a lot of guys get taped on Prevent ankle sprains. I don’t get taped, as I mentioned before, the main thing that I do and a lot of players do is strengthen the ankle strengthening calf strengthen the feet muscles a lot. So a lot of exercise before and after practice in order to strengthen your feet. So that when you do get an ankle sprain, it’s not as serious and you recover faster. In terms of preventing ankle sprains. Guys can wear ankle braces. I prefer not to just because it’s less comfortable. But yeah, preventing injuries like that in basketball is kind of hard because you aren’t going to happen. But taking measures to strengthen the feet strengthen the ankles is is the most important part of mine and my opinion.

Eric  14:58  

Yeah, for sure for sure. Why do you think you prefer? The low tops? Is just just a weight issue? Or is it just kind of a feel issue or just kind of a personal preference? And would you recommend other athletes, especially like youth to wear the low top? Or do you kind of find out what’s most comfortable for you? Or what’s your thoughts on that debate at the low, high atop conversation of all that?

Filippos  15:23  

Yeah, that’s a great question. I don’t have a perfect answer to I don’t have to say, but I grew up playing with high tongs, okay, because my dad was really, you can get ankle sprains, he actually stopped playing basketball because he banning ankle injury told me only wear heights, I’ve never wear low tops. So I grew up playing with the high tops all the time. And I was really a fan of high tops. But coming to college and seeing all these guys playing with low tops, I decided to try them out. I liked them, I don’t have a I’m not like Do or Die talk to him all the time. So I just wear whatever is more comfortable for me. For low tops we provide less support are able to strengthen the leg more so you get more and more and more mobility of the ankle during the games. So your your ankles and your feet get stronger. That’s what that’s one theory I’ve heard. I don’t know you probably know much more about this than I do. So if you like tell me if you if you know anything about the difference?

Eric  16:29  

No, it’s okay I mean it’s kind of a preference thing is what I feel like as well I was also a no tape guy that I really felt like you wanted to get that mobility I always kind of felt like you wanted to feel the court I was wanting to feel the court kind of so to speak so I kind of went with like a even a thinner shoe just be are thinner in Seoul just to kind of get that feel for that cord on my feet. But you know, the ankle strengthening and preventative I think is the biggest key. But you know what, there’s some athletes that are just kind of prone to some of this stuff as well with either their feet, their ankles and different things like that. So I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this or whatnot. I think it’s a preference and kind of comes down to it or whatnot. So yeah, yeah, I appreciate it. So

Filippos  17:26  

So what are your preferences on lower high tops? Where did you used to play with

Eric  17:30  

I used to play with high tops personally but you know, I’m kind of into them. They probably like more of a mid I kind of like the lower but not some of these some of these shoes are getting so low these days. It’s almost like they’re almost like running shoes in some ways where I don’t feel that comfortable with with them but I would kind of do a mid but even the high tops and today’s shoes aren’t aren’t as big as what they is what they used to be so so so it’s kind of different than just it’s it’s interesting how the trends continue to go towards basketball and different things like that so so for sure for sure.

Filippos  18:17  

My notes are extremely low

Filippos  18:24  

I liked them I played with them but yeah there if you want to get an ankle injury where those

Eric  18:31  

no I get it I totally understand I totally understand so but it comes down to preference and like you said what your feel what you feel good about and doing or whatnot so I don’t want it what is one of most of your big men what are they playing in these days? Most of them like your your bigs on University of Miami where they play in yeah

Filippos  18:52  

our bigs alright, I can’t tell you for sure but no worries Yeah, they very low are they don’t have it

Eric  19:03  

it’s all probably down to preference and what they feel most comfortable with and

Filippos  19:06  

yeah, doing and a lot of these guys change shoes every game. Yeah, so sometimes they leave behind tops and tops of low tops. Yeah.

Eric  19:16  

How do you feel about changing you want to you want a shoe that you can break in versus not wearing a brand new shoe every single game or practice? No,

Filippos  19:27  

I can’t do vanish because I know some some guys on my team who do brand new shoes, never breaking them and going straight into a game with them. But I can’t I can’t do that. It’s probably a mental thing. But I just I just much rather prefer breaking them in a couple practices before and then playing with them. Yeah,

Eric  19:46  

yeah, I never wasn’t brand new shoe guy either. I felt like I needed to break them in and get used to them or even decide you know if this is the right one for me or not, and kind of keep trading in and out and different things. So If I’m right there with you on that, for sure, for sure. But I don’t know, maybe, maybe the next period you don’t break in and you drop 20. You may you may, you may start a new tradition or whatnot or new things. But no, man, I appreciate your time. I think this is very good. And maybe we can do this again. And actually, I want to throw out this, is there anything else that you feel like I haven’t asked or that you want to share about shoes or ankle support, or anything that you can think of off the top of your head that wasn’t mentioned that you want to throw out there?

Filippos  20:34  

How what’s your experience with guys? With ankle sprains in your in your history of playing basketball? Or some things? I mean, we all have ankle sprains. As soon as you had some time in your career, yeah, what are some things you you think helped you in your rehab in your recovery? Because I’ve heard a lot of guys asking about questions like that?

Eric  20:54  

Oh, yeah, yeah. So one of the things that is early, early and fast treatment, I think is a is a huge key, one of the small things that I that we did, as a, when I played professionally, we would get like a blood massage. So it would, it would just increase blood flow to the injury. And we would do that, you know, at least once, maybe twice a day on that, getting that getting the therapy that you needed, early and often. And then, you know, a lot of these kids, you know, feel like, you know, they can’t, you know, they want to, they want to, you know, be on crutches or not be able to walk on it. But honestly, if it’s not broken, the best thing you can do is start kind of doing doing as much mobility as you can with it, and trying to get it get it moving, you want to go through your healing period, but then it’s also just trying to get it moving again. But then also the preventative stuff of just taking the doing the extra exercises, doing the extra work extra reps to strengthen that ankle and and to keep, you know, keep that from not being re injured or whatnot. And then it’s kind of a mental thing, getting over it, you know, how do I how do I get over it after I’ve done it, you know, once or twice is a huge part as well. So

Filippos  22:15  

I completely agree with with a blood flow thing, a lot of kids are talking about icing the injury, and I understand if it’s really really painful, but at the same time, I’d rather you push through that pain a little bit because the player you know, promote some blood flow in the area. And that’s going to speed up the healing process in general. Yeah,

Eric  22:36  

yeah, that makes sense. So, but anything else that you can think of off the topic that you want to throw out their mansion or say,

Filippos  22:45  

so that’s about it for me? Okay, no more. But yeah, I’m looking for we can do this again anytime. And

Eric  22:52  

one other thing I was thinking of to maybe down the road is if you could throw out or if you know of any other people that I could possibly interview or could talk to you or whatever, I kind of would like to try to start to do this a little bit more myself or whatnot. So you can have some contact with the commander twins that’d be great to G or whatnot. No, I’m good. I don’t know if you have you have you had

Filippos  23:17  

I mean I see them around the facility we talking interact sometimes. But

Eric  23:20  

yeah, if you could, if you if you have any ideas or any suggestions, throw out some names or whatever. I would be very interested in talking with any other people but I would love to if I could talk with the Vander twins. Commander twins I saw them the other day they were sponsored by I think Under Armour or whatnot so it is the girls sponsorship completely different or that is the you and girls still under Adidas as well.

Filippos  23:47  

I don’t know I don’t know I didn’t I think the whole whole thing already disciplined if they have any individual sponsorships that they do.

Eric  23:54  

And I think I think I saw a video whatever so but they’re they they’re just a little popular on on Instagram and Tiktok and whatnot so shout out where can we follow you or check out some of your stuff as well that you got going on?

Filippos  24:10  

Yeah, so my Instagram is Philip G dot hoops, FYI P G dot group so follow me there. Tick tock is Phillip dog Gaga so that’s just my full name so my YouTube is the same I post videos there training videos for you can use for your workouts, ball handling, shooting and any advice anybody needs is the me the discord community is always active. So you can find the discord link on all my socials. If you go to the bio, just click on the discord link and come in introduce yourself and you know, I’m all about basketball. So anything you guys need to ask me. I’m happy to help.

Eric  24:50  

I want to definitely echo that f g is always available. This court is very active and has a ton of people on there. And he’s always he’s always on there. I swear I think he’s on that on the end of the bench, sometimes games or whatnot, I feel like he’s always on there. And I’m thinking man, he just played to the University of Syracuse or that or North Carolina or whatnot. How in the world does he have time to you know, reach out to these kids and, and help but he’s always out there and I really appreciate that FG and I appreciate the time. Of course, thank

Filippos  25:17  

you for having a great conversation.

Eric  25:20  

Thank you very much.

Filippos  25:21  

Have a great day. Of course, you too.

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