The best way to gain a community’s trust is by being a part of it. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell understands that at such a young age, and what he did Wednesday night will make you appreciate and respect him even more off than court than on the hardwood.
While dropping a game-high 38 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in an 100-89 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center, the 6-foot-3 star shooting guard had a name written on his adidas sneakers: Lauren McCluskey, the Utah Utes track star who was murdered on the Salt Lake City campus Monday night.
What an amazing gesture to honor the victim, especially since the 22-year-old Mitchell had never met her nor her family. To have a monster game against one of the top teams in the NBA’s Western Conference is just a cherry on top.
However, when Mitchell was interviewed following the game on NBA TV, he took it one step further with verbal condolences and a powerful message about protecting women.
If anyone needs to do what a class act sounds like, Mitchell is a great place to start:
“In today’s world, women have to be protected more. I have a little sister. My mom raised me. So women have to be protected more. She was being harassed for two-straight weeks and that’s so tough. She was defenseless, couldn’t do anything about it, and for a man to do that, that’s terrible. For me, I just wanted to be able to dedicate this game to her and her family. I don’t know her personally. I don’t know her family at all.
Just having a little sister, this one really hit home to me, and my condolences to the school, too he track and field team, and obviously to her family, for sure. — Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell
Nobody told Mitchell he had to do this, but he took it upon himself to honor McCluskey the best way he could.
That’s leadership. That’s what it takes to help build up a community. That’s special.