Donovan Mitchell honors former Utah football players

If there was ever a doubt about how special of a person Donovan Mitchell is, he put that to rest on Saturday afternoon.

During the Utah Jazz Open Practice on The Road To Tipoff, presented by Udo, the thousands of fans watching saw something they’d never seen before: Mitchell donning the number 22 on his practice jersey.

Immediately, questions began flooding into the Zoom chat as to why the number changed, and its meaning. As speculation began to make its way throughout social media, an answer never became official until his post-practice presser.

"I just wanted to pay my respects to Aaron [Lowe] and Ty [Jordan] in my own way.” Mitchell told reporters after the game.

For those who don’t know, both Lowe and Jordan—members of the University of Utah football program—have tragically passed away within the last 10 months. 

Jordan was a freshman running back when he returned home to Texas after an All-American season during the holiday break. Sadly, an accidental self-inflicted gunshot to the abdomen on Christmas night ended his life.

One of his closest friends on the team was Lowe, a fellow Texas native who was the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial scholarship this past August. Tragically, Lowe’s life was taken while attending a party a week ago in Salt Lake City.

Jordan wore No. 22 last season before Lowe donned the number this season as a way of honoring his friend.

This is not the first time Mitchell has done something in honor of somebody no longer with us.

Back in October 2018, Mitchell wore shoes honoring former University of Utah track and field athlete Lauren McCluskey, a woman who was shot and killed on campus a few days prior.

With the Utes football program hit so hard by devastation, Mitchell took it upon himself to honor both players and the University of Utah as well. While he won’t be changing his number with the Jazz anytime soon, Mitchell wanted it known that the state of Utah is a family and will always support one another, and this was his way of being a part of it.

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