Donovan Mitchell Wins 2018 ESPYs Award for Best Breakthrough Athlete

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2018

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after the Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was named the 2018 Breakthrough Athlete at the ESPYs in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday night.

He beat out Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens for the honor. 

Mitchell, 21, is coming off a revelatory campaign for the Jazz. 

Although he wasn't named the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year—that honor belonged to Simmons—Mitchell blew expectations out of the water after the Jazz selected him 13th overall in the 2017 draft. 

Appearing in 79 games a season ago, the Louisville product topped all rookies by averaging 20.5 points per game on 43.7 percent shooting from the field, including 34.0 percent from three. 

According to Basketball Reference, Mitchell joined LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Tyreke Evans and Blake Griffin as the only qualified rookies to average at least 20 points over the past 15 years. 

Now looking to make a leap in Year 2, Mitchell will set his sights on even bigger numbers in hopes of propelling the Jazz back into the playoffs and across the 50-win threshold. 

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