From the Court to the Closet - Christopher Newport University


Members of CNU's men's basketball team wear False Fantasies hoodies in the Freeman Center Field House.

From the Court to the Closet

Basketball Teammates Create Buzz with Clothing Line

Read time:

On the court, they’re teammates with a driving desire to win. Off the court, they’re business partners, using their entrepreneurial instincts to score big with their signature line of casual clothing.

So far, their venture has been a slam dunk.

Jamaal Madison, Jahn Hines and his younger brother, Collin Hines, all members of the CNU National Championship Men’s Basketball team, are the founders of False Fantasies. The clothing line is designed to appeal to a young audience seeking a unique style. The trio says creativity and originality are key factors in their designs: they are on a mission to ensure their clothing does not look like everything else on the market.

False Fantasties gained traction on campus when the Alpha Phi fraternity offered to showcase the merchandise at its table during an event on campus. It was an immediate hit, and now has customers on campuses across the country, thanks to word of mouth and the power of social media.

“We are doing what we love to do,” said Jahn, ‘24 Economics.

The three men played basketball together at Norview High School in Norfolk. They shared the dream of a clothing line for years, but the start-up costs were out of reach when they were high schoolers. However, once they got to college and acquired part-time jobs, it was go time. The ideas started flowing and the clothing label came to life. The name, False Fantasies, was inspired by a quote used repeatedly by their high school coach.

“He always told us not to live in a fantasy world,” Jahn said. “He didn’t want us to have false hopes. We flipped that around and decided to ping off of it.”

The False Fantasy name and design now adorns hoodies (with satin-lined hoods), shorts, sweatpants, and T-shirts. Custom shoes are on the horizon. Their gear has been seen on campuses and on streets as far away as Texas and California. It has also become a common sight on the campuses of Christopher Newport, Virginia Tech and University of Virginia.

“It still shocks me when I see it on someone,” Jahn, who was named the Coast-to-Coast Conference Male Athlete of the Year following the national title. “We have worked really hard on building our business, so it’s a great feeling.

The three men are successfully balancing part-time jobs, a frenetic basketball schedule, a full load of classes, and a business that is thriving.

They have diligently studied their target markets and the styles that appeal to them. The clothing is unisex and features artwork and logos created by Jahn and Collin. The items are marketed on social media and manufactured by a company overseas. Jamaal, ‘24 Communications and Childhood Development, handles the business side of the enterprise.

Each time, the line has “a drop,” lingo for when a new product is released, the buzz around the label tends to increase. In fact, the exposure online usually results in the new products selling out quickly.

The trio’s goal is for people who wear their clothing to feel unique and to love what that what they are wearing represents the notion of individuality.

“We want it to instill confidence in people,” Jahn said.

And we want people to feel like they “stand out a little bit,” Jamaal said.

The line is a constant work in progress, with logos, design and color always changing. Collin, ‘27, said three have the same ideas of how they want their merchandise to look.

“We all had the same vision for clothes, and we all like to wear the same type of style,” he said. “So, it’s pretty easy and fun.”

Jahn said the clothing line has provided an opportunity for them to “be ourselves.” It has also created the chance for the three to work together toward a common goal and support one another.

“We know each other like the back of our hand,” he said. “We piggyback off each other.”

Mastering the clothing business has been a learning curve that has required patience and sometimes a shift in plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Once they placed an order and the sizes were not what they expected. They have also had to deal with the time difference when working with a manufacturer in Asia, plus an order placed during Chinese New Year that arrived a month late due to the holiday. But they have learned to overcome obstacles and find solutions.

They obtained a business license and formed an LLC. In their apartment, there is a whiteboard detailing future “drops” and a large amount of inventory. It is ground zero for marketing, processing and shipping.

“We have had our ups and downs,” Jamaal said. “But the best decision we made was figuring it out on our own.”

The three men love working together toward a common goal, making sure along the way to “hold each other accountable.” That common goal is reaping benefits, inspiring them to keep the momentum going and leaving in its wake a multitude of happy customers.

While the line is called False Fantasy, their dream has clearly become a reality. As the line grows, they are hoping they can expand their offerings. They are humbled by the line’s success so far, and are energized and excited to nurture its upward trajectory.

“It’s been amazing,” Jamaal said.

Back to top
quick edit report a problem