The Vols have provided plenty of action on the hardwood this season to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
While Vol fans have come to expect closets stocked full of Big Orange football gear, that’s not always the case when it comes to basketball merchandise.
As the Vols made their run through the SEC Tournament, the fans in our newsroom noticed something. It can be pretty difficult to find specific items, like jerseys like those worn by UT basketball stars.
“We have unfortunately sold out of all of our basketball jerseys. The demand was huge this year,” said Joseph Bray with the Vol Shop on UT’s Knoxville Campus.
That means if you’re still looking to snag that Vols basketball jersey ahead of Friday’s game in Columbus, don’t hold your breath. The Vol Shop is sold out and so are Alumni Hall and Hound Dog Apparel.
“We order our jerseys in advance from Nike and because they are a cut and sew item, they take a while to get here,” Bray said. “We have to actually place those orders a year in advance. Those orders were due in September of 2017; that was back when the basketball team was ranked 13 out of 14 in the SEC.”
That order came in back in October last year and sold out rather quickly. What Vol Shop ordered last fall will come in later this year and so on. Either way, they aren’t able to order more basketball jerseys anytime soon.
“The demand this year has surpassed anything that we’ve had before,” said Bray.
Vol Nation, understandably upset, took to social media, even tagging Nike to complain about the jersey shortage. Nike heard and came out with replica retro jersey T-shirts with the numbers 2 and 5 on them.
“Oh don’t worry. We’ve ordered plenty more for next season,” Bray said to reassure the customers who seemingly missed out this year.