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Donovan Mitchell receives NBA Cares award for social justice work

Donovan Mitchell has been in the headlines recently due a controversy completely out of his control. The Utah Jazz superstar continues to generate news, but the latest headlines are for all the right reasons.

The NBA announced this week that Mitchell is a recipient of the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award. In a statement, the league announced Mitchell earned the honor for championing “social justice and education” and “using his platform to speak out against racism and inequity.”

“I’m honored to receive the NBA Community Assist Award. We, as athletes, have a responsibility to do our part to give back to our communities and raise the bar for the next generation,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Not too long ago I was one of those kids that looked up to professional athletes, and I recognize how blessed I am to be in this position to give back to the multiple communities that have contributed to my growth not only as an athlete but as a person.

“My goal is to continue to inspire and encourage youth, from coast to coast with an emphasis on the importance of education.”

The award announcement champions Mitchell’s work between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and honored how the Jazz superstar “championed social justice and education, using his platform to speak out against racism and inequity.”

Further, Mitchell “also backed his words financially,” per the statement, including how he pledged $12 million to Greenwich Country Day School, his alma mater and where his mother, Nicole, taught for 10 years.

As mentioned, Mitchell became ensnared in a controversy this past week not of his making. NBA on TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal has been engaging in a one-sided feud of sorts this past week due to his confrontation with Mitchell during a postgame interview. O’Neal challenged the the Jazz guard, saying he doesn’t have what it takes to become a true superstar.