Growing up in Memphis, having the right pair of shoes is essential when you are a teenager in school. It could honestly be the difference between being able to hang with the cool kids or getting “checked” the entire day. Checking is a creative- and merciless- way of making fun of someone. One place I always went to get new shoes was the Footlocker in the Southland Mall. The store manager was Michael Thomas, a 6'6" ex-college basketball player who…