LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – When it comes to his high flying dunks, Louisville freshman Donovan Mitchell admits he sometimes draws inspiration from those that came before him.
“I would think Aaron Gordon, Michael Jordan, and Russell Westbrook,” Mitchell listed as his dunking influences. “(Westbrook) is like my height doing the craziest things I’ve ever seen.”
Mitchell like Westbrook measures in at 6-3. But what they lack in size, they make up for in hops. Case in point: Mitchell’s incredible putback slam Wednesday against Florida State.
“All I saw was the ball in the air and I knew no one boxed me out,” Mitchell recalled. “He had it in his hands and I just took it out and I dunked it.”
The slam caught everyone by surprise, including Mitchell’s coach Rick Pitino.
“He came out of nowhere,” said Pitino. “I’ve seen him do it before but that was a pretty darn good one.”
Mitchell’s had a number of good ones in his first season with the Cards. But no matter how many Dunks he racks up, he’ll never forget his first dunk.
“It was the summer after 8th grade, going into 9th grade. Everyone was close but no one officially dunked it,” said Mitchell. “I was the first one to dunk it.”
Even though he loves a good dunk, Mitchell wants to be down as more than just a high flyer. He’s worked hard at his game since becoming a Cardinal and he believes the hard work is starting to pay off.
“I never really pictured myself playing with something like this. To have all this come full circle, it’s a blessing,” said Mitchell. “I’m very happy with the way I’m playing.”
His highlight reel grows and so too does Donovan Mitchell as a basketball player.
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