The 2017 NBA Rookie Class could be one of the most talented batches that fans have seen in a while; this group can be labeled as the future of the NBA. One of the standouts is Donovan Mitchell, drafted 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets and traded to the Utah Jazz on draft night.
Yet being traded motivated him even more to delight the basketball fans with spectacular performances during the season and in the playoffs. Donovan is now short-listed along-side Jayson Tatum and Ben Simmons to be named Rookie of the Year at the NBA Awards to be held this 25th of June.
Adidas Philippines was responsible for bringing Donovan for a one-day engagement which started with a press conference and a ‘Meet and Greet’ for his local fans at the newly renovated Adidas Store located in BGC, and followed by a main event at the Food by the Court located on Taft Avenue.
A young kid was lucky to ask the rookie he was able to juggle studying and playing basketball while he was growing up and Donovan had this to say, “I had to do my homework before I went anywhere, before I saw my friends and even before I touched a basketball. Even if the homework is hard, and it takes you 2-3 hours, it is something you have to focus on first. Because at the end of the day after the two hours, you can play basketball even when it is dark outside, but schoolwork carries with you from when you’re old… like it is with you forever.
“Basketball stops eventually, and that is my message. My mom always reminded me. At your age, I did not want to listen to anything my mom said about homework, but fortunately I did and I listened to her, and that’s why I am up here talking you.”
Donovan said that his parents were very strict about making academics his priority. “There was a time that I missed a game because my mom did not allow me to play because I had not finished a very important science project.”
Since basketball is a very competitive sport, Donovan also disclosed how he handles the challenge of always striving to win, “I think pressure is what you make it, because when you start to overthink it, you put a lot of stress on yourself.”
Thankfully, he finds some solace in food. When asked about his diet, he excitedly revealed his love for pancakes, bacon and eggs, all of which he loads up on during breakfast (Five of each, in fact!). But for lunch, Donovan opts for a Caesar’s Salad.
As his parting shot, Donovan told his young fans, “Have fun, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”
The event was capped with a big treat for local hoop fans as Donovan made a guest appearance in the PBA game between rivals Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia Hotshots and showed off his commentating skills during the match.