Davion Mitchell, a graduate of Liberty County High School and a native of Liberty County was given a hero’s welcome in his home town with a parade and ceremony held at his Alma Mater on Donnell Woods Stadium this past Thursday night. Mitchell helped the Baylor Bears win the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship by defeating previously unbeaten Gonzaga 86-70.
People lined up along the parade route as Mitchell sat in a Jeep and was driven across the City. Many of the spectators wore Baylor University T-shirts or basketball jerseys. Mitchell’s fans waved their hands, honked their horns and held up signs as he made his way to Liberty County High School where more people cheered from the stadium seats.
Prior to the parade, Mitchell said it felt good to be back home. He had not been home for about a year due to the pandemic, staying in school instead. He said he hopes his career will inspire the next generation of kids and they should keep working hard to attain their goals.
“Keep believing in your dreams and everything will work out,” he said.
He said he felt blessed to be a Baylor Bear and be among teammates and coaches who helped him become a better man.
“Hard work always pays off,” he said.
During the April 15, Hinesville City Council meeting Mitchell was presented the keys to the City by Mayor Allen Brown. They also declared April 15, Davion Mitchell Day.
A frame of the proclamation with the key, and many others gifts and cards were given to the basketball star at his ceremony. The County also presented Mitchell with a proclamation and an authentic painting done by local artist Samone Joyner Norsworthy of his Baylor #45 jersey.
The Liberty County School System gave Mitchell his retied #5 jersey from his days as a LCHS Panther where he helped take the team to the state title in 2016.
Mitchell was greeted by many of his former coaches as well as other notable high school friends like former UGA football player Richard LeCounte and current NFL football player Raekwon McMillan.
Mitchell said it meant a lot to know he has the support of his community. Throughout the evening Mitchell constantly gave thanks to God and his family and the many mentors and coaches he’s had who helped him develop his talents.
The former Liberty County High School basketball player was named Defensive Player of the year by two different groups roughly a month ago. First Mitchell was named the Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year. Then he was named the NABC Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Mitchell announced he was declaring for the NBA draft after his team took home the trophy.
"Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine and I truly believe I am ready to start living that dream," Mitchell posted on Instagram. “With that being said, I will be declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft and signing with an agent."
At Thursday’s event Mitchell said he knows he will need to start from the bottom and work his way up the ladder again.
“I got to work ten times harder,” Mitchell said.
He said the NBA would be drafting a player who loves to win and doesn’t put much attention to personal stats.
“That’s why I love playing defense,” he said. “I think defense wins championships. I would be that good guy in the locker room who wants to build relationships with the other players and build the chemistry to become a winning culture. Team chemistry wins games.”
This season Mitchell played in all 36 games for 992 minutes, scoring 420 points, 80 total rebounds, 165 assists, 11 blocks and 57 steals.