Jazz star Donovan Mitchell randomly picks and gives shoes to kid before Hawks game
Donovan Mitchell continues endearing himself to across the NBA. Before his team tipped off against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on Thursday, the Utah Jazz star picked a random young fan in the crowd to gift an autographed pair of his sneakers.
Donovan Mitchell just randomly went up to this kid and gave him his shoe and signed it. pic.twitter.com/Ja4fHgh0LG
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) March 21, 2019
Mitchell rose to stardom with Utah last season after being selected with the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The Louisville product finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, though a vocal contingent of Mitchell fans believe he was the rightful winner of the award due to the latter sitting out the 2016 season due to injury. Mitchell got off to a slow start this season, beset by shooting woes related to extra defensive attention paid to him, but has bounced back in a big way over the last couple months. He’s averaging 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for the Jazz, who are currently fifth in the Western Conference standings.
Mitchell has made a habit out of engaging directly with fans since he entered the NBA, but has taken a more active approach in social justice issues this season. After a Utah fan heckled Russell Westbrook with racist language during a game last week, he issued a lengthy statement condemning hate speech and racial intolerance, promising to work with his teammates, the Jazz, and the league to ensure NBA arenas “are more inclusive and welcoming.”