Look good, play good.
From a young age, Christian and Jeremy Jones bought into the philosophy that’s enveloped professional and amateur sporting circles over the past decade or two. Emulating their sporting idols went beyond imitating signature moves and recreating highlight plays. The sports-crazed siblings from Houston often took it a step further, copying the fashion trends and fads made popular by their favorite professional and college athletes.
“I know you could probably go back to when Russell Westbrook was the first one wearing the crazy glasses and all of that stuff. Some people thought that was crazy, but me and my brother thought it was cool,” Christian said. “Back to, we’re two Texas boys playing quarterback. Back to RGIII (Robert Griffin III). He used to wear crazy socks under his regular socks, so we started doing that. Started wearing crazy socks to practice.
“So just always looking for a different way to express yourself, really.”
Christian has given Spokane residents a new way to express themselves, opening a new vintage clothing and apparel store in the city where his younger brother, Jeremy, became recognizable through his contributions to Gonzaga’s basketball team from 2015-19.
The store, It’s 4AM Somewhere, is located just north of downtown Spokane, a few blocks away from the Podium sports complex, on the corner of N. Washington Street and W. Dean Avenue. The store, which allows customers to buy, sell or trade new or used clothing items, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“The concept of the store is just filling a need in Spokane,” Christian said. “I just feel like we could’ve used some more shopping options and something different. A different demographic that isn’t already targeted. In that regard, I was just filling a need.”
Spokane’s newest clothing store is an extension of the 4AM brand Christian invented in 2018. Longtime friends-turned-pro athletes, such as the NBA’s Jordan Clarkson and Andre Roberson, along with the NFL’s Malcolm Brown, helped elevate 4AM’s profile. Over the past four years, Christian has cultivated ideas, clothing pieces and connections that helped make the store a reality.
Christian made frequent visits to Spokane during Jeremy’s playing career at Gonzaga, often realizing the region had a refined palate when it came to fashion but perhaps lacked options.
“I’m focused on raising the taste level here and also giving people an opportunity to navigate through what they like,” he said. “I feel like when I would go to different places, like Jack and Dan’s or Fast Eddie’s or The Globe or anywhere and I’m just looking at what people have on – I feel like it’s not that they don’t like dressing nice, it’s just seems like they don’t have the opportunities. I just want to give them opportunity.”
Jones is also seeking to build a community in Spokane. The store’s grand opening, on May 28, was a sign the former University of Houston football player is off to a promising start. Current and former Gonzaga players, including Anton Watson, Silas Melson, Eric McLellan, Zykera Rice and Laura Stockton, attended, mingling with store-goers and taking photos. Gonzaga walk-on Joe Few dropped in to offer support, purchasing a vintage T-shirt, and former Eastern Washington standout Jacob Wiley later swung by with his family.
Both literally and metaphorically, Watson’s outgrown the clothing and apparel options in his hometown of Spokane, often waiting for Gonzaga’s road trips to metropolitan cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco to stock up on stylish shirts, pants and shoes in his size. Otherwise, Watson makes his clothing purchases online.
“We don’t really have stores like this in Spokane, so it’s super cool to have (4AM) and check it out whenever,” he said. “… When I go to L.A., that’s usually what I’m trying to hit. A store like this. They’ve got shoes, T-shirts, graphic tees, whatever. So it’s super cool and it’s close to GU and I can hit it whenever.”
Watson, a forward who’s listed at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, generally can’t fit into shoes smaller than a size 14, but the GU senior left Jones’ store with a pair of red and yellow “USC” Nike Dunk Lows.
“I just bought shoes in my size, which is super hard to find,” Watson said. “So it’s super easy. It’s two minutes away and they’ve got stuff I can choose from.”
Although nothing is in the works yet, Christian is open to name, image and likeness (NIL) deals with Gonzaga athletes and hopes to hold autograph signings and other events to help promote his store and the GU community. He partnered with Sarah Michaelson, the wife of GU assistant Brian Michaelson, to design the potted plants that rest inside hollow basketballs throughout the store.
“You just admire Gonzaga from afar, then my brother ends up coming here and the rest is history at that point,” Jones said. “It’s a blessing and I guess you could say a dream come true. I’ve been wanting to do this since 2018, 2019, so for it to come to fruition and just seeing everyone receive it like I felt like they would, it means a lot for sure.”
“The city is growing,” Melson said. “There’s new things being built all the time, population going up. So I think it would be good to start a new store. It might be perfect timing for him.”
Rice, the former GU women’s standout who’s planning to continue her pro career in Israel this fall, didn’t bat an eye when Jones invited her to attend the opening, driving from her hometown of Tacoma to support her friend.
“It’s small now because it’s just starting out, but I think it could be very, very big for the city of Spokane,” Rice said. “Just as far as the culture and culture around basketball and how players dress.”
Few players in Gonzaga history – on the men’s or women’s side – expressed themselves on the court like Rice, whose electric blue hair was often the first thing viewers saw when they tuned in to watch the Bulldogs women from 2015-19.
How does Rice define fashion?
“You’ve got to find things that work for you, things that you’re comfortable in and you go with it,” she said. “Sometimes, if you have blue hair and you kind of push the standard a little bit, you just run with it as long as you can. Luckily, it’s been working for me. I think fashion is all about what you like for you and how it looks for you and how you feel about it.”
The store’s name is an homage to Jones’ childhood. He and Jeremy would often wake up at 4 a.m. to go on jogs with their father. Years later, he’s channeling the same energy, drive and dedication into a new venture.
“I just feel like there’s more work to be done. I’m more interested in cultivating community,” Jones said. “I feel like in a sense, there’s some gratification there. There’s no dollar amount that would gratify me. Just helping Spokane grow.”