HOUSTON — The Adidas Pro Bounce Low has been Donovan Mitchell’s go-to sneaker for the beginning of his sophomore season.
But ahead of the Utah Jazz’s road game Wednesday versus Houston, the star guard switched back to a fire red/black version of the Adidas Dame 4 shoe with “Lauren McCluskey” etched on the soles.
The University of Utah's basketball coach was the first to share the art via Twitter, tweeting “Much Respect Donovan Mitchell” then Mitchell responded with a 38-point performance in a 100-89 win against the Houston Rockets to help Utah improve to 2-2 on the season.
McCluskey, 21, was shot and killed Monday night on the University of Utah campus by 37-year-old registered sex offender Melvin Rowland, who later killed himself. She was a former Utah track athlete and was found in the back seat of a parked car.
“After the Memphis game, I heard about that and it’s just tough. I have a little sister and for that to happen and for a mother to lose her child, her daughter especially in that way,” Mitchell said of McCluskey. “Women nowadays have it so tough. A lot of times men are the aggressor and women are defenseless and it’s so sad to see things like that happening.
“The guy was harassing her for two straight weeks and eventually it caught up to her,” he continued. “I think we need to offer more help in those type of situations because the track record was there from the beginning until the end and for women to be scared to say something is not something we should be promoting in this country or in this world.”
Immediately following Utah’s game against Memphis on Monday night, Mitchell retweeted the University of Utah’s Twitter account with the description of the shooting suspect writing “Everyone stay safe up there at the U!” McCluskey’s death definitely hits a soft spot with the rising star.
“Obviously, having a little sister, this one really hits with me because if anything happened to her, I’d be devastated,” Mitchell said. “So, for that to happen, my condolences to the family. I don’t know them, I don’t know her personally but it’s so sad to see something like that happen.”