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Donovan Mitchell surprises students at Kearns High School

Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell poses for a photo of Kearns High student Jason Madera after giving him a backpack in Kearns on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

KEARNS – Just chalk it up as another thing Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has done for the community.

He appeared to 300 students at Kearns High School Tuesday at a special invitation-only assembly for students who had done well academically last school year. The students had no idea he was coming either.

He was there with his mother Nicole Mitchell and while he joked he was only there to get them out of class, he offered encouragement in their new school year and invited them to take school seriously.

“Many see that I play basketball, but without education, opportunities that were there wouldn’t have been there without an education,” he said. “Today, I just want to give back to you guys for your hard work and dedication.”

Each student received a t-shirt and backpack and had the opportunity to take a selfie with the Jazz star. Afterwards students were able to have a Q and A with Mitchell.

Mitchell says he will watch how the students do in school and will provide motivation for the kids to improve in their academics.

The Jazz’s star has been busy in the state this off-season as he prepares for next season. He has gone to fans’ barbecues on the 4th of July, reportedly paid to have someone’s phone fixed who could not afford it, and in July he appeared in the Jazz’s 3-on-3 Tournament as part of the Summer League festivities.