SALT LAKE CITY — The real Donovan Mitchell isn’t Utah Jazz player No. 45 or the slam dunk champion that the basketball world has fallen in love with.
The real Donovan Mitchell is a momma’s boy, who is close with his family, and isn’t much different from most 21-year-olds off the court.
An original 15-part Young Hollywood series will introduce the world to the real Donovan Mitchell through an exclusive digital docu-series that kicks off around 1 p.m. MDT Tuesday, April 3.
Mitchell’s life will be the subject of “Rookie On The Rise,” which will offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his first season in the NBA.
“I think they’re going to see the real personal side of him because now it’s a bunch of fresh after-game press interviews and locker room-type stuff, but this is real intimate,” said R.J. Williams, Young Hollywood’s founder and CEO. “We’re in his hotel, eating with him, what does he eat before the game? Why does he choose the haircut that he chooses? Why does he decide which sneakers he’s going to wear for the slam dunk contest?”
Young Hollywood launched in 2007 and has grown a reputation for shining a spotlight on the top up-and-coming stars in entertainment, previously working with Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga.
Mitchell is one of the first sports star to be featured on the platform, and the series will be available on Young Hollywood TV, Apple TV, Amazon and Facebook Watch.
Each episode will last two to five minutes, with three episodes launching every Tuesday. Young Hollywood started filming Mitchell in February and followed him around during NBA All-Star Weekend. The first three shows will show his relationship with his family, the significance of his haircut, his sneaker collection, then later on Mitchell will share which hip-hop artists inspire him, which celebrities he wants to meet and other cool topics.
“It’s really seeing stuff we don’t think we’ve seen with Donovan anywhere else yet because everything else has been in the environment where there was a lot of cameras around, and this wasn’t press-like occurrences,” Williams said. “So it’s a chance to really see him.
“I think the takeaways are that he’s really humble and we heard that going into it, but it’s something we really saw after doing it,” he added. “He’s what you would expect him to be, he’s really like that off the court.”
RAISING AWARENESS: On Friday, March 30, the Utah Jazz will host Autism Awareness Night. A sensory room on Level 5 in Vivint Arena will open for children with autism and other developmental issues. The room will feature a variety of games and tools to help the kids. Jazz players Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio have donated free tickets to local schools and nonprofit groups that work with autistic children. Thirty kids with autism will also stand with Jazz and Grizzlies members during the national anthem.
RETRO LOOK: The Utah Jazz are reportedly bringing back their purple uniforms for the 2018-19 season. According to Conrad Burry of sportslogos.net, the Jazz will incorporate a “Classic uniform” option into their uniform set.