Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was not your typical high school jock who was popular but relatively disengaged from his schoolmates. In his senior year at Brewster Academy, his headmasters wanted to develop Mitchell’s character by convincing him to run for senior prefect.
Mitchell on the campaign trail
Mitchell, who spent his junior and senior year in Brewster Academy, quickly became popular among his schoolmates. After all, he was the school’s basketball star, destined for NBA glory. The headmasters know how fame could put Mitchell in a bubble. Running for high school prefect — the equivalent of the class president — was a way for Mitchell to reconnect with his colleagues.
“Sometimes, with athletes on campus, you feel like you can’t relate to them. So that was my biggest thing,” Mitchell said, per SB Nation.
Mitchell was about to trek unfamiliar territory. From dominating the hardcourt, he was about to step onto podiums and stages. When playing ball, Mitchell was used to being watched. In a campaign, Mitchell had to face the people.
“I didn’t, to be honest. I was nervous,” Mitchell admitted.
To cut the story short, Mitchell won the election for high school prefect. What’s more interesting is how he won. He prepared a five-page speech which he delivered at the school’s assembly hall. His speech contained the policies he plans to implement if he wins. Among his programs was to ease the school uniform rules for seniors. But what contributed heavily to his eventual win was the proposal of a Free Doughnut Day.
Mitchell admitted that it was the most “nerve-wracking” thing he’s ever done. Perhaps in a strange way, that lone year as high school prefect helped Mitchell mature as quickly as he could.
He couldn’t have won only because of his stature as a basketball star or his donut day. Maybe his headmasters knew early on that he had the potential to become a leader — an imperative skill in life, especially if your job involves working in a team with one single objective.
Props to Mitchell’s headmasters at Brewster Academy for spotting his talent. If it wasn’t for them, then we wouldn’t have seen the entirety of Mitchell’s potential. Here’s to hoping that Mitchell, amid the impending breakup of the Jazz roster, finds a way to lead them to another playoff campaign.