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After signing a five-year, $195 million rookie extension this offseason, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell is sharing the wealth.
Mitchell and his family agreed to the largest single pledge of support in the history of the Greenwich Country Day School, promising $12 million to the school he graduated from in 2012, according to a press release Friday.
His mother, Nicole, was a lower elementary school teacher at GCDS from 2007 until just last year and his sister, Jordan, graduated from the school in 2017.
Some of the funds will be used for the Mitchell Family Scholarship Fund, which is set to help GCDS “remain a leader in providing need-based aid for students in grades Nursery through 12,” per the release. There will also be a Nicole Mitchell Faculty Support Fund, awarded annually at the opening faculty meeting to a teacher in each of the four divisions at the school who has demonstrated the “passion, enthusiasm, optimism, and love for children always shown by Nicole Mitchell.”
Additionally, Mitchell’s donation will be used to build “The Determination Over Negativity Mitchell Family Athletic Center.” According to the announcement, it will be a “state-of-the-art gymnasium and will house one full court (NCAA regulation court) with full stands on both sides.”
“I know how lucky I have been to have the foundation of my education happen here at Country Day,” Donovan said via the school’s press release. “This school has shaped who I am in so many ways, and I feel blessed to be able to give back and make the Country Day experience available for more kids especially those from inner-city neighborhoods or with backgrounds like mine.
“Over the past few years on my NBA journey, I have made it my mission to champion the causes of equity, social justice, and equal opportunity, especially in education. There is no better school anywhere to carry forward this mission and my family is excited to make this happen.”
During the 2019-20 playoffs in the Orlando bubble, Mitchell became the third player in NBA history to score 50 or more points twice in a playoff series, joining Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.
It was a no-brainer for Utah to extend Mitchell, who quickly asserted himself as a cornerstone of the organization when he was runner-up for the rookie of the year award, to a guaranteed $163 million deal with an incentivized maximum of $195 million.
“As great an athlete as he was, Donovan was an even nicer young man,” GCDS head Adam Rohdie said of the 2020 NBA All-Star. “He is a man of the highest character and he has lived his life embodying the Country Day creed of TIGER PRIDE which asks our students to be kind, empathetic, respectful, thoughtful, and to act with the highest levels of integrity.”