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Maddox chasing his passion

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

When Nigel Maddox sat down in his living room, paint brush in hand and a shoe in front of him, the idea of beginning a new business venture wasn’t what drove him.

Maddox, a 2014 graduate of LaGrange High who had previously developed a clothing line through his G1GB (God First God Bless) organization, just felt an urge to do something creative, and the shoe was his canvas.

“Doing shoes was almost like an accident really,” Maddox said. “I had a little time on my hands, so I started painting on a shoe.”

When Maddox was done he took the shoes out for a test drive, and people liked what they saw.

“I did it for myself at the start, and people noticed it,” said Maddox, who is an assistant coach for the LaGrange High girls’ basketball team. “I started wearing them, and people were asking me where I got them from.”

Soon, Maddox had basketball players asking him to design

shoes for them, and the venture has continued to take off.

Student-athletes at LaGrange College, as well as LaGrange High and Callaway High, are wearing shoes that Maddox designed.

“If somebody wants a shoe, they kind of tell me a brief idea of what they want, and I just kind of go for it and expand on it,” Maddox said.

The first player to wear one of the Maddox-designed shoes was Julian Cameron, a junior guard and a team captain on the LaGrange College basketball team.

“He’d seen my work on Instagram, and he already knew me,” Maddox said. “He said hey, I need some shoes to rock in a game. They had a big game coming up. He told me he wanted his number, his name, and I took off and ran with it and came up with a good little design.”

Maddox was thrilled with the reaction Cameron had when he saw the shoes, which were painted red and black, the LaGrange College colors.

“When I gave Julian his pair his reaction was crazy. He was just happy,” Maddox said. “He opened the box and saw what I’d done and he was screaming.”

Soon after some other local players, including LaGrange High’s Kobe Jones and Callaway’s Javontay Boddie, asked Maddox to design and paint shoes for them.

“There are a lot of people doing shoes, but I’m still on the younger side,” Maddox said. “I’m still grasping what people want on the shoes. That makes it easier for me to come up with a design.”

Going back to that initial experience when Maddox decided to harness his inner artist and paint a shoe, he wasn’t overly ambitious.

“I had the shoe in front of me, and it was like where can I put some paint,” Maddox said. “I had one can of paint. I was just like I’ll just put what I say. I put God first on one shoe, and God bless on the other.  But I guess I did it good enough where it looked like they came on the shoe like that. That’s what made people gravitate toward it.”

Maddox’s first foray into the clothing business started last year when he began selling T-shirts inscribed with the logo of his organization, G1GB.

“I just wanted to tell people you put God first, and he’ll bless you,” Maddox said. “You add clothes and fashion to it, it’ll make people want to grab the concept a little bit better.”

Starting out, Maddox said “it was a basic T-shirt. That was it. It was one design.”

“I didn’t want to start out with 30 designs,” Maddox added. “I had one design. Then you can branch off.”

Simplicity aside, Maddox was grateful at the way the message was embraced.

“As soon as I started out, everybody started saying it, and kids were writing it on their shoes,” Maddox said.

Another passion of Maddox’s is coaching, and he’s grateful to get the opportunity to be on the staff at LaGrange High.

When LaGrange girls’ head coach Stephen Tuck was playing at LaGrange College, Maddox was always around the team.

Two of Maddox’s cousins, Antoine Maddox and Brandon Maddox, played at LaGrange College.

“When coach Tuck was in college, I was always in the jerseys, in the practices,” Nigel Maddox said. “Coach Tuck already kind of knew me.”

A few years ago Maddox began helping out at LaGrange High in an unofficial capacity, leading to this season when he officially joined the staff.

“They called me into practice to work with (the players). Ever since then, I’ve been helping out the team every year,” Maddox said. “So they said let’s get you on the staff and make it official. I’d like to coach my own team, so I get the full experience.”

Maddox believes in what he’s doing, from the clothing line, to the shoes, to coaching, and he relies strongly on his faith to carry him through.

“It goes back to what my whole brand is about,” Maddox said. “It’s putting God first, and taking that leap of faith. If you really believe in something, it’s going to happen. It’s believing it and putting your faith in it.”

OF NOTE: G1GB clothing can be found on Facebook @g1gbclothing, or on Instagram @g1gbclothing