Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
WASHINGTON D.C. — A few minutes into Utah's 123-98 win over Washington Saturday, a parade of fans wearing Donovan Mitchell purple mountain jerseys made their way into Capital One Arena.
It was a sight to behold that far away from Salt Lake City. But it was nothing to how it sounded.
The first time Mitchell's name was said by the public address announcer, the group of college-aged fans let out screams of absolute euphoria. Those gleeful cheers continued, especially when Mitchell looked over after a stoppage of play and saluted the group. Ecstasy followed.
So is Mitchell just the reincarnation of John Lennon in the nation's capital? Not exactly, but he has a growing fan club.
The group was from American University, and more specifically the women's lacrosse team at the school. Mitchell's sister Jordan plays on the team, and Mitchell treated them (and some other friends) to the game.
"They showed out. They showed out," Mitchell said. "I appreciate the love."
Mitchell didn't stop at just a ticket to the game; he had some of his old 1990's throwback jerseys that he gifted his sister and her friends, and he got them all a pair of his signature D.O.N. shoes, as well.
To Mitchell it was a way of saying thank you to his younger sister. She was the one that was dragged around from gym to gym while growing up as her family sat and watched youth tournaments, causing her to sacrifice many of her weekends.
"It's just always trying to find ways to show love to my sister," Mitchell said. "She's always by my side, especially when we were younger. She missed out on a lot of child things to come stay in a hot gym for six hours a day. So any chance I can to show appreciation, and that was that — her bringing her group of friends to the game. I appreciate it. It's a great feeling to have that."
About a week and a half ago, Mitchell called up his team at Adidas with an idea: He wanted to wear a special shoe for the game to honor the lacrosse team, so the team got to work.
The result was what Mitchell wore Saturday: one red and one blue shoe with an American University logo imprinted on each one and lacrosse sticks on the back. It was a shoe to honor his sister.
Mitchell said the special edition D.O.N.'s won't be for sale, and he probably won't wear them again.
"I'll put them in a box and bring it back to the house, back home," Mitchell said.
Home. A fitting place for a tribute to his sister.