Tinker Hatfield is not the designer he is with Nike today without legendary coach Bill Bowerman. He gave him a scholarship, helped him become an architect, and guided him to get into drawing and designing shoes. After a serious ankle injury sidelined Hatfield’s on-the-track career, he quickly became one of Bowerman’s most trusted testers of his new inventions. Architect's degree in hand, Hatfield designed showrooms for Nike until he won a shoe design contest. From there came the Air Max and other shoe designs.

In part two of our three-part series, we’ll examine how he became an innovator in shoe design and how a ping pong match introduced him to a basketball star that would forever change his life.

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