Menswear expert and athlete stylist Courtney Mays

Sports activities Illustrated and Empower Onyx are putting the highlight on the assorted journeys of Black ladies throughout sports—from the veteran athletes, to up-and-coming stars, coaches, executives and more—in the collection, Elle-evate: 100 Influential Black Women in Sporting activities.

Stylist, designer and guide Courtney Mays is the visionary driving some of the finest-dressed gamers in the NBA. Today—thanks to Mays and the mentors who she credits before her, these as Rachel Johnson, stylist to LeBron James—the convergence of fashion and sports activities transpires in the tunnels of arenas around the league, game soon after game.

“I feel that Rachel really pioneered the idea that the tunnel could be that 5-next runway,” Mays suggests. Gamers are no for a longer period arriving with their heads down in sweats or ill-fitting satisfies the new NBA player pregame uniform consists of luxurious brands, tailored suits and deliberately styled clothing. But it’s not just about showboating or competing for the finest-dressed player—the weekly catwalk is to allow the earth know there is a thing to say that is more powerful and more impactful than any a few-level shot or triple double.