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Donovan Mitchell might’ve not been playing during Game 1 of the Jazz’s series against the Grizzlies but he was still turning heads.
Just moments before tip-off, the call came in to keep Mitchell on the sideline as a precaution for his injured ankle. Although he undoubtedly rather be on the floor, the shooting guard still caught the attention of fans with the pro-Black, HBCU letter jacket he wore during the game. It even garnered him a rare compliment from ESPN’s biggest pundit, Stephen A. Smith.
“I need one of those jackets!” Smith said. “Get me one of those jackets! I’ll pay for it!”
The jacket’s color scheme made allusions to the Pan-African flag (with a hint of yellow) with a fist in the shape of Africa near the heart. There was also the phrase “HBCU Pride” across the back to pay homage to the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The jacket was created by the Chicago Playground clothing brand. The brand specializes in custom pieces as well as hoodies and varsity jackets like the one Mitchell wore. If you’re looking to purchase the jacket Mitchell donned on the sideline, it’s still available on the Chicago Playground website for $300.
Mitchell isn’t the first NBA player to show their love for HBCUs. Chris Paul has made it his mission to shine a light on these institutions and even wore a letter jacket with a patch from every HBCU embroidered on it.