(KUTV) — The Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell had more than basketball on his mind as he took the court Wednesday night.
Every defensive stance and jump shot he took in the 107 to 97 Jazz win over the Suns were made in a shoes that carried one message on each foot:
End Gun Violence
Pray for Parkland
Mitchell scored 24 points in the win, and heading into the All-Star Weekend he is the talk of not only the town but the NBA as he pushed himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation while helping his team to an 11-game winning streak. His message in the wake of a Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead earned him even more attention. The killings happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, now one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
“It’s scary that can happen to anyone anywhere. And that’s kinda one of the things that hit home to me,” Mitchell said after the game. “It’s interesting how it just continues to happen,” he said, “and we really don’t do much.”
His mother is a school teacher and he was a student during a shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, a state where Mitchell is a native. Twenty children and six adults were killed.
“I’m not saying all shootings don’t make me feel some way, but especially school shootings,” he said.
The Salt Lake Tribune reminded that it isn't the first time this season Jazz players, including Mitchell, have taken a stance on political issues.