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Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell gifts $25,000 scholarship to his 4th grade teacher’s daughter

Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

The Utah Jazz couldn’t finish a spirited second-half comeback against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, falling 118-115. The loss is a big one for Quin Snyder’s team as it fights tooth and nail for positioning in a stacked lower half of the Western Conference playoff field. Donovan Mitchell might have felt he personally shouldered some of the blame for his team’s letdown, needing 32 shots to get 34 points and going cold down the stretch. Still, the disappointment of a frustrating loss in the heat of a playoff race didn’t stop Utah’s franchise player from making a real difference shortly following the final buzzer.

Mitchell gifted a $25,000 check after the game to the daughter of his fourth-grade teacher, Deporah Peart, on the State Farm Arena floor. Naja Brooks, Peart’s daughter, and her family shared smiles and hugs with Mitchell after the game, which they watched from courtside seats.

The 21-year old Brooks, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, said she didn’t know in advance that Donovan Mitchell was going to present her with the 4-foot check.

“First of all, it’s amazing. Honestly, I was just excited to come out to actually just support him because I hadn’t seen him in forever, but then this added to it,” she said. “It put it over the edge, it put it over the top.

“I had no idea about this.”

Trae Young had 23 points and 11 assists for the Hawks, which outscored the Jazz 31-23 in the fourth quarter. Utah drops into seventh place in the West in terms of playoff tie-breakers, but is part of a rare four-way tie in the standings at 42-30.