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Donovan Mitchell reacts to appearing on first SLAM Magazine cover: ‘This is dope'

SALT LAKE CITY — Surprise, surprise.

Prior to the Utah Jazz-Memphis Grizzlies tipoff Friday, rookie guard Donovan Mitchell was gifted with the latest edition of SLAM Magazine with him on the cover.

Mitchell couldn’t stop smiling as he stared at a portrait of himself in Utah’s Nike City Edition jersey with his name in bold print, along with “A STAR IS BORN.”

He is just the second Jazz player to appear on the cover of the SLAM, joining Deron Williams.

“This is dope,” Mitchell said, while glancing at the magazine.

The SLAM Magazine has been around since 1994 and has developed a national reputation for spotlighting some of the NBA’s biggest stars such as Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James with iconic covers.

Mitchell is honored to join the elite club.

“This is kind of crazy,” Mitchell explained.

AUTISM AWARENESS NIGHT: For the second game in a row, the Jazz were playing for a cause much bigger than basketball. Wednesday’s home game versus Boston was dubbed the 5 for the Fight Night to raise funds for cancer research, then on Friday, March 30, Utah welcomed Memphis to town for Autism Awareness Night. Thirty kids with autism stood with members of both teams during the national anthem and a sensory room was opened on Level 5 at Vivint Arena for children with autism and other intellectual disabilities. The room features a variety of games and tools to help the youths and will be open for all Jazz home games and other special events in the arena.

PAYING HOMAGE: Two-way player Georges Niang showed up to Vivint Arena in a purple vintage, snow-capped Karl Malone Utah Jazz uniform. Not only is Niang connected to Malone through the Jazz organization, he was also named the 2016 Karl Malone Award winner as the nation’s top power forward at Iowa State University as a senior.