SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 19: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors on December 19, 2018 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell offers an apology and a gift to fan injured in courtside collision

by Aaron Falk

After a courtside collision with Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell sent her to the emergency room this week, 17-year-old Ilana Anderson is walking with a protective boot on a foot and crutches under her arms.

But that didn’t stop her from getting back into her courtside seat.

“She’s a huge Donovan Mitchell fan,” Shawn Anderson said as he and his daughter watched the Jazz host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. “She thought it was pretty cool. No hard feelings at all.”

Shawn and Ilana Anderson were in those same front-row seats on Wednesday night for Utah’s matchup with the Golden State Warriors when Mitchell made a defensive mistake that left him with no choice but to leap into the seats.

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“It was either Klay Thompson makes an open 3 and changes the game or I sacrifice myself and go into the stands. I’m always willing to do whatever it takes,” the Jazz guard said. “I thought I cleared everyone. I didn’t know I hurt her.”

At first, Shawn Anderson was just excited to be part of the action.

“When Donovan went over us, I didn’t realize he’d hit her foot,” Shawn Anderson said. “I thought he went between us. I was cheering and happy. I turned around and saw that she was hurt. I felt like a fool.”

The Andersons missed the rest of the game as the father took his daughter to the emergency room for X-Rays. Fortunately, they came back negative. Ilana Anderson will wear a protective boot for about a week, but should be back to full strength soon.

Mitchell, meanwhile, is looking to make amends with a jersey and a pair of shoes.

“I apologize,” Mitchell said. “But I appreciate you bracing my fall. I appreciate you sacrificing yourself for the Jazz. That won’t go unnoticed. Everyone’s taken note of what she did. So thank you. I’ve got some stuff coming your way for sure.”

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