On Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell is celebrating his 27th birthday. As a result, his mother sent him a beautiful birthday message on Instagram.
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Mitchell was selected with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after two seasons playing college basketball at the University of Louisville.
His freshman season with the Cardinals was somewhat forgettable. He started just five games for the team during the 2015-16 season and averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.8 steals per game.
It wasn’t until the guard’s second and final season as a Cardinal that he established himself as a legitimate college basketball star. Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game across 34 games played during the 2016-17 season (33 starts).
Mitchell’s contributions as a sophomore translated to a lot of wins for the Cardinals. He led the team to an excellent 25-9 season, including an NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cardinals beat Jacksonville State University in the first round of the tournament before losing to the University of Michigan in the second round. Mitchell finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the loss.
The 27-year-old has played for two teams — the Utah Jazz and Cavaliers — across his six seasons in the NBA. He averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in 68 appearances with Cleveland during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts).
Additionally, Mitchell shot the ball with impressive accuracy, as he converted 48.4 percent of his shots from the field and 38.6 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.
Those numbers were good enough for Mitchell to earn an All-Star nod — the fourth of his pro career — and a spot on the All-NBA Second Team.
Cleveland’s 2023 postseason run was short-lived, however. Mitchell and the Cavaliers lost to the New York Knicks in five games in the first round of the playoffs. The guard didn’t play as well as he did during the regular season in that series, as he averaged 23.2 points per game and converted just 43.3 percent of his shots from the field.
Here’s to hoping that Mitchell will be able to put his unspectacular postseason performance behind him and have a fantastic 2023-24 season.