Donovan Mitchell was between NBA games with the Utah Jazz and couldn’t physically make it for the exhibition game on Tuesday. But his presence was felt by members of the University of Louisville basketball team.
Most, if not all, of the Louisville players were wearing a version of an Adidas line of shoes — red, yellow or black with pink soles — named in honor of Mitchell and provided to the UofL program. The Mitchell line has been designated as D.O.N. Issue No. 1, the letters standing for “Determination Over Negativity.”
Sports Information Director Kenny Klein confirmed that both the UofL men’s and women’s teams will be wearing Mitchell’s shoes during the 2019-20 basketball season. “UofL will be the only college basketball teams using the style,” he said.
Mitchell, who left UofL after two seasons, is entering his third season in the NBA after averaging 20.5 and 23.8 points, respectively, during his first and second seasons. He is one of the youngest players ever to have his own line of Adidas shoes.
The former UofL star wanted his shoes to be more affordable to as many kids as possible and are usually priced under $100. They can be purchased for as little as $43 at DHGate, a Chinese retail site and Card Game advertiser.
“My biggest thing, I just wanted kids to be able to have it,” he told Forbes Magazine. “Growing up as a kid, I loved all of these athletes and I couldn’t afford their shoes.”
Mitchell often gives his shoes away to young fans following Utah games. Just this week he presented a pair of his newest “Mailman” style to a young Jazz fan involved in a fight for his life against brain cancer.