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Donovan Mitchell nominated for NBA Cares Community Assist Award
The young girl clutched the sneaker and shook with excitement.
“I’m so happy,” said the 11-year-old named Brighton.
The shoe belonged to Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz’s sophomore guard. As has become his tradition, he had taken it off after his pregame warmup, autographed it, and gifted it to a fan in the stands. In just his second NBA season, Mitchell has built his fanbase on 40-point performances and highlight-reel slam dunks.
But asked why Mitchell was her favorite player, the young girl had a different reason.
“He’s always giving back,” she said.
That’s why Mitchell has been named one of the finalists for the 2018-19 NBA Cares Community Assist Award. The Jazz guard is one of 10 nominees for the award, recognizes a player’s sustained commitment to positively impacting his community during the course of the season.
Mitchell has certainly done that.
The young star has become beloved in Utah for his willingness to embrace the community, popping up at backyard barbecues, high school basketball gyms, and university football games. So often throughout the season, people have told stories of Mitchell's kindness, whether it be offering to pick up the bill for a cash-strapped Jazz fan or taking a photo that brightened a cancer patient's day.
• The 22-year-old provided 300 backpacks and school supplies to students at Kearns High School.
• Mitchell launched his SPIDACARES foundation, which aims to empower women following the example set by his mother and sister.
• Mitchell granted a $25,000 scholarship to the daughter of his fourth-grade teacher.
• Mitchell helped lead an effort to address fan behavior, helping deliver a message of Solidarity during the Jazz’s game against the Brooklyn Nets in March.
Voting begins at 10 a.m. MT on Wednesday and concludes on Sunday, May 5 at 9:59 p.m. MT.
Fans can vote for Mitchell by tweeting using #NBACommunityAssIst and #DonovanMitchell or @spidadmitchell. Retweets also count as votes.
Fans can also vote on the data platform Jebbit.
The remaining nine 2018-19 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award nominees are Jarrett Allen, Bradley Beal, Mike Conley, Tobias Harris, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, Dwight Powell and Pascal Siakam.
The winning player will receive his award during the 2019 NBA Awards on June 24 and will get $25,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.