Jazz stars help victim of high school bullying; Conley feels ‘at home’ in Utah

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City, Wednesday March 28, 2018. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27), Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45), and Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) at halftime.

This month, Pleasant Grove teen Luc Holdaway was the victim of racist high school bullying.

As he woke up on his birthday, he found his car covered in horse manure. Another time, he was mowing the lawn and told his father, Seth, that someone had driven by and yelled the n-word at him.

Holdaway’s situation went viral, and Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert wanted to do something about it. So both reached out. Gobert gave the teen and his family tickets to Monday’s game against Minnesota, while Mitchell contacted Holdaway by phone, giving the 17-year-old teen his cellphone number.

“For me, I try to speak to anyone who’s been through that,” Mitchell said. “Just understanding that if you feel that way, feel free to like reach out to myself, anybody. Because I don’t think that’s cool. I don’t think it’s right.”

Mitchell said he didn’t think this sort of bullying was an issue local to Utah, but one that existed nationwide, or even globally.

“I think it’s a big thing for people to understand that we’re not shying away from anything like that, especially when I found out that there were racial comments. All that hit me a little bit more just because of what we’ve been going through in this country.”

Gobert met Holdaway on the court before the game Monday.

Mike Conley considers Utah home

Mike Conley hasn’t lived in Utah for long. The Jazz traded for him in June, but his family didn’t really find a home or move in until September, right as training camp was beginning. As a result, it’s only been a couple of months for Conley in Utah.

But already, he’s considering Utah as his home, even after living 12 years in Memphis.

“I was anxious to get back to Salt Lake. You know, after being in Memphis, I wanted to get back home,” Conley said. “I felt more comfortable here just because I was finally getting to a good rhythm.”

Of course, it wasn’t just any trip back home: Conley’s 36 hours in Memphis involved saying hello to hundreds, maybe thousands of friends before and after the game.

“Being there just brought back a lot of memories,” Conley said. “[It was] a tough, tough couple days.”