SALT LAKE CITY — Over the last few days, Donovan Mitchell has spent numerous hours playing NBA 2K, watching movies and his old highlights, and, yes, using the time to try and forgive Rudy Gobert.
Oh, and he’s used it to figure out a way to still help his community, too.
On Monday, during an interview on Good Morning America, Mitchell announced he would be donating money to the Granite School District to make sure kids can still get a meal during the school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we all navigate the challenges that have arisen with COVID-19, there are many people impacted,” Mitchell said in a statement. “My mom’s career in education made me value children and the importance of academics, and I want to make sure that kids can continue to eat a meal while they can’t go to school.”
Under the program, any child under the age of 19, including preschool children, can show up at a designated site and eat a meal at no charge. The Granite School District has 88 schools serving 67,730 students in Salt Lake City.
“That particular school district in Salt Lake City is home to some of the most vulnerable children in Salt Lake. So I just wanna be able to give back,” Mitchell said. “Because time will tell — you really don’t know; doctors can’t pinpoint a date.
"So for parents who may not have the money, not being able to send their kids off to school to get food is a scary feeling for them, and I want to be able to make sure that they’re set, and they understand that guys like myself have their back.”
Maybe no sports team has faced more challenges from COVID-19 than the Utah Jazz with Gobert and Mitchell both testing positive for the virus.
Gobert has apologized numerous times for his “careless” behavior toward the pandemic — behavior that was very visible when he touched the recorders and the microphones on the table during his media availability two days before he was tested.
EXCLUSIVE: “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus is that you may seem fine.” @NBA star @spidadmitchell speaks out for the first time from isolation since being diagnosed with COVID-19, despite being “asymptomatic.” https://t.co/i9rZzYvW4spic.twitter.com/wZJBteQjtV— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 16, 2020
The apology was to the public at large — but also to his teammates.
“It took a while for me to kind of cool off,” Mitchell said. “I read what he said and I heard what he said. I’m glad he’s doing OK, I’m glad I’m doing well. I’m just happy, to be honest — I hate to say that it’s two of us — but that it wasn’t the whole (Jazz traveling) party. At the end of the day, neither him nor I have children at home — some teammates that have children, some staff that have children at home. So I’m glad that we were able to contain it as much as possible.”
Mitchell said that as of now, he isn’t showing any symptoms — no fever, no cough, etc. — and is feeling fine.
“If it wasn't public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn't know it,” he said. “I think that’s the scariest part of this virus. You may seem fine, be fine, you never know who you may be talking to, who you might be going home to."
Mitchell said he has spent his time in isolation playing video games, watching a lot of movies and turning on his old highlights from college and the NBA.
“It’s bringing back good memories, but you miss the game, you miss playing in front of the best fans in the world in the NBA,” Mitchell said.