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Acts of Kindness: Scholarship Gift

On March 21, shortly after the Jazz played the Hawks in Atlanta, Donovan Mitchell surprised his fourth grade teacher and her daughter with a $25,000 scholarship check for her final year of college. The gift was a joint donation from Donovan’s SPIDACARES foundation, Adidas, and Foot Locker.

Donovan has long known the Peart/Brooks family as Deborah Peart was his fourth grade teacher at Greenwich Country Day School, Connecticut. Her daughter Naja Brooks, who is also a GCDS alum, currently attends Savannah College of Arts and Design.

Earlier in the day, Deborah and Naja were treated to shopping at Foot Locker and courtside tickets to the game. After warmups, Donovan gave Naja a pair of signed Asterisk Collective Tresc Runs. This memorable day held one more special surprise for Naja: when Donovan handed her the scholarship check, she was overcome with emotion, knowing what a difference it would make to her family and to her education.

Donovan’s foundation SPIDACARES is dedicated to empowering women and positively impacting communities by leveling the playing field in health, education, and athletics for children and their families. Donovan is also committed to making change through acts of kindness as one of the six initial creative ambassadors of The Asterisk Collective, a platform launched by Foot Locker in partnership with Adidas to help creators spread positivity, support their communities, and inspire others to be true to themselves.

“They were there for us when I was younger,” says Donovan. “I’m just really happy to give back.”

Whit Hawkinsarchive

After a fan shouted degrading remarks at Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during the game on March 11, Donovan Mitchell felt it was important to have display of solidarity.

Mitchell and his teammates came up with the idea for a shirt showing two clasped hands. At the game on March 16, all Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets players, coaches, and staff wore the shirt prior to tipoff.

“To have two playoff teams go out there and step aside and take a moment for something that’s bigger than basketball, it shows where we are today and where we are as teams and as a league,” says Mitchell. “It was important for us to do this and I’m glad we did it.” 

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Whit Hawkinsarchive
Helping Women Get Their Fair Shot

“When women are given a fair shot, they’re absolute game changers.” –Donovan Mitchell

In the coming months, Donovan Mitchell, with the help of doTERRA and other supporters, will launch his new foundation—SPIDACARES—which, among other things, will be dedicated to empowering more women.

Reflecting on his journey to the NBA, Donovan acknowledges that he wouldn’t be where he is today without his mother and sister: “She would drive 28 hours just to watch a game, say, ‘Hi,’ quick hug, and then leave. For her to do that showed me how much she cared and how much she believed in what I was doing. So I would be failing her if I didn’t believe in myself.” Their dedication and support is the inspiration for his efforts with SPIDACARES. His mother, Nicole, will assist him with the foundation.

Whit Hawkinsarchive