Donovan Mitchell Takes In 8th Grade Hoops, Stays For Team Photos

Feb 15, 2022, 3:40 PM | Updated: 3:44 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell poses with 8th graders (Photo: Carsen Williams)...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell poses with 8th graders (Photo: Carsen Williams)
(Photo: Carsen Williams)

SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell was sure to create lasting memories for one 8th-grade basketball team after showing up to watch their game in person over the weekend.

After the game, the All-Star guard spoke with the team and stayed to take photos with each of the players.

The moment was captured by coach Carsen Williams as Mitchell posed for photos with the team.

“I was coaching 8th grade basketball games yesterday when all my players ran up telling me that @spidadmitchell was there,” Williams tweeted. “Just hanging out, watching a bunch of 13 and 14-year-olds play basketball. He probably took 150 pictures with kids. Donovan gets it. We’re lucky.”

After Monday’s win over the Houston Rockets, Mitchell discussed why he made the surprise appearance at the game.

“I went to see one of our coach’s sons,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been telling him for like three years, ‘I’m going to come to watch you play.'”

The Utah Jazz guard’s plans have been derailed for the last few seasons due to the COVID pandemic, but he was finally able to take in the game firsthand on Saturday.

“That’s what it’s about for me, just being able to just use my platform,” Mitchell said. “I don’t really need to see anybody or say anything, just kind of being there and just showing support. I think that makes kids days, weeks, months, years — lives.”

Mitchell’s First NBA Encounter

One of the reasons showing up to support youth sports has been so important to Mitchell is his own history of meeting the players he idolized growing up and getting their help as a kid growing up on the East Coast.

The Jazz guard shared a story of how former New York Knicks center Eddy Curry helped Mitchell’s family out during his days in high school.

“I had big feet, and it was tough for my mom to find some shoes,” Mitchell said.

“He had boxes upon boxes, so instead of my mom going out and buying stuff, I was wearing Eddy Curry’s shoes at age 13 or 14. So he’s probably the first person to really look out and help me out.”

With three different versions of his own signature sneaker, Mitchell has paid that gift forward throughout his time with the Jazz.

“I understand why he had a plethora of so many shoes because I go through the same thing,” Mitchell said.

While the 8th-grades will never forget the three-time All-Star showing up to take in their games, Mitchell insists the pleasure isn’t one-sided.

“That’s what’s cool, man,” Mitchells said. “Kids that maybe won’t have access to a game or won’t have access to myself or guys on the team — being able to be like, ‘I’m here watching you play, watching you hoop’ and just being able to just show my support.”

The Jazz will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night before Mitchell travels to Cleveland for Sunday’s All-Star game.

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