On Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks will give their 16 players custom letterman-style jackets for their NBA Finals win that brought the league championship back to town for the first time in 50 years after the team finished. the Phoenix Suns in a 4-2 series victory Tuesday.
The company that designed and made the jackets and made the giveaway possible: Coleman Knitting Mills in Ogden.
Bucks players like Giannis Antetokounmpo were supposed to put on the jackets on Thursday morning’s Team Championship parade in Milwaukee until a delay with the flight containing the overnight expedition meant it wouldn’t. possible.
A common business acquaintance between Coleman Knitting Mills and the Bucks previously connected the parties, which led the team to order these jackets to give to their players.
âWe absolutely loved receiving this order,â said Abe Dalebout, owner of the clothing manufacturer with his wife, Lisa Dalebout, the girls’ basketball coach at Fremont High. “We love that a bigger company like the Milwaukee Bucks, a sports franchise, is using an American company to make something for them that players can cherish for a long time to come.”
The gifts are largely the same that the Utahns are used to, as Coleman is well known for making Letterman jackets for most high schools in the state. The Bucks jackets, however, have longer arms and more room for adornments.
The Milwaukee jackets have black wool bodies with black leather arms, with all names and patches knitted in-house. The fabrics are cut there, the leather comes from an American supplier and everything is assembled in downtown Coleman.
Dalebout said his company has previously taken orders from Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and rap mogul Jay-Z. When they lost 0-2, the Bucks decided to pass the order even though the team did not win the final.
Production workers began manufacturing the parts on Monday July 12 and began assembling the jacket elements on Monday July 19. Once Milwaukee was up 3-2 in the series, Coleman’s folks got attached.
Kicking off the series on Tuesday night meant the production team arrived early Wednesday morning to make the final touches that meant the Bucks had won the championship – and to get them out and on a plane to be worn. in the parade, which was not the case. occur due to circumstances beyond their control.
Dalebout said his team âvalues ââall jackets, whether it’s a high school student or if it’s Giannis’s jacket that they make, they treat it exactly the same. But you look at his name on the jacket and say ‘wow’, it’s pretty cool to think he’s wearing it. “
Coleman Knitting Mills typically welcomes clients to their offices to measure and adjust them, or visits high schools in the area to measure groups of people. But the Bucks ordered them as freebies, meaning crews used lists online for player height, weight, and wingspan to make an educated guess for each.
âA lot of them, their body is an extra large jacket, which is pretty standard, but the sleeves are 5 or 6 inches longer in each sleeve because their wingspan is so big,â Dalebout said.
Although the shipment didn’t arrive in time for Thursday’s parade, the Bucks returned to order a handful of additional jackets for the coaching staff and the owner, the company said.
One Bucks player is Bountiful native Sam Merrill. If the Utah state graduate got a Letterman jacket at Bountiful High School, it would be his second custom Coleman Knitting Mills blanket.
William C. Coleman started the business in 1949 and it was owned and operated by members of the Coleman family until 2018 when Dick and Kathy Coleman retired and sold it to the Dalebouts – ” close family friends, âaccording to the company. website.
âDick and Kathy Coleman, they did such a good job of such a beautiful standard of quality of a jacket and we were happy to continue this tradition,â said Abe Dalebout. âSo it’s cool when you get some top people realizing the quality of it, and we do that right here at Ogden. “