Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell makes $12 million donation for scholarships, new gym at his old school

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) talks with his teammates as the Utah Jazz host the Denver Nuggets in their NBA basketball game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

A week ago, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell called his new contract extension — which could pay him as much as $196 million over five years — “life-changing.”

And, indeed, the fourth-year All-Star is already putting some of it to use changing others’ lives.

It was announced on Friday that Mitchell — along with his mother, Nicole, and his sister Jordan — pledged $12 million to Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS) in Connecticut, which Donovan and Jordan Mitchell attended and where Nicole Mitchell was a teacher from 2007 to ’19.

The donation, which the school said was the largest single gift in its history, will be split between a scholarship fund enabling low-income students to attend, an annual “faculty support fund” which will provide a financial reward to select teachers, and a new gymnasium.

“Man this means so much to me!” Michell tweeted in response to the school’s announcement. “Not just building a brand new gym but giving scholarships to less fortunate kids who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend private school!”

The Mitchell Family Scholarship Fund “will help GCDS remain a leader in providing need-based aid for students in grades Nursery through 12,” GCDS wrote in an announcement. And the Nicole Mitchell Faculty Support Fund “will be given to [teachers] in each division (4) in the school who have been at GCDS for at least 3 years, and have demonstrated the ‘passion, enthusiasm, optimism, and love for children always shown by Nicole Mitchell,’” Head of School Adam Rohdie wrote.

“These two funds perfectly highlight Donovan’s understanding of the power of a great education,” Rohdie added. “This gift will allow GCDS to reach an even broader cross-section of students and it allows us to celebrate those teachers that make the magic at our school every day.”

Meanwhile, the D.O.N.! The Determination Over Negativity Mitchell Family Athletic Center will be a “state-of-the-art gymnasium” featuring an NCAA-regulation court and stands on both sides.

Donovan Mitchell attended the school between third and ninth grade, departing in 2007. Since then, GDCS added a high school, which Jordan Mitchell graduated from in 2017. Nicole Mitchell was a teacher there from 2007 to ’19.