Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell hasn't forgotten where he came from
(KUTV) -- Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is fast on the court, but it's Utah's easy-living that helps the 22-year-old breathe a little easier.
It's a lot different than his fast-paced childhood in New York.
"Go, go, go, nonstop. To come here, where everything is slower, you know, I need that," Mitchell told Shauna Lake. "Being able to have that in a place like this is beautiful and amazing."
On the court, he's capable of almost anything.
He's also the sweetheart of the team, thriving with his charity work, and always being up for a photo or autograph.
Mitchell learned early on how important that fan/player connection is.
"Growing up, I met an NBA player from Charlotte, North Carolina. I asked him for his autograph, and I turned my back for like a second and turned back around and he was gone," recalled Mitchell.
He knows moments like that can change a child's life.
"At that point, I said, 'If I'm ever in a position where a kid looks at me in that light, I'm just going to make sure they are happy," he said.
Mitchell admits fame and money all coming at the same time can be overwhelming.
You can have what you want, buy what you want, whatever you can do, all of those things. But that's all material stuff that can be taken away, but who you are can't be taken away.
Mitchell credits his family with helping him learn who he is. He calls his mother, Nicole, and sister, Jordan, his best friends.
"You know, those two were driving 14 hours from New York to Louisville to drive right back in the middle of the mountains at night," he said.
His mom—like a lot of moms—maybe saw her son's future even more clearly than he did sometimes.
"There were some times in college where I wanted to quit, just because I didn't think it was for me. And she was there for me," Mitchell said.
Now he has his chance to make life a little easier on them, buying his sister "whatever she wants."
"I went to boarding school, so I was never home. But she would fall asleep when there was no power, or the car wouldn't start," he said. "It's tough to be the kid without."
"I make sure she is the one kid with a lot."
Life is pretty sweet for this Jazz superstar, who says he is a little kid at heart.
He told Shauna Lake he watches Netflix and plays video games to relax. His favorite shows are The Office and Burn Notice.
"I'm a kid, I'm childish," he smiled.
But for balance, he takes in Utah's beauty. He recently started hiking this year.
"If it's a night before a game, I'll sit there and I'll just relax and overlook the city," he said. "I didn't realize that nature could be so peaceful and so quiet, and allows you to think about your life and how far you've come so far."