Liberty County High School standout basketball player Davion Mitchell gathered friends and family at Liberty County High School Thursday afternoon to announce he has decided to commit to playing basketball at Auburn University with coach Bruce Pearl.
“I want you all to know that I’ve decided to further my education at Auburn University and play basketball for coach Pearl and his staff,” Mitchell said as the room erupted in cheer and applause.
Mitchell, a guard, is ranked fourth in the state for his position and 13th in the nation, according to 247sports.com. The four-star recruit had more than a dozen other offers from Division I schools, but said Auburn felt like home.
“It’s like being with family there and I love the campus and the coaching staff… It was like a big family,” he said.
Mitchell started on the Panthers’ varsity squad as a freshman. He has averaged 14.9 points per game, 6.8 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game in the 57 games played in his high school career.
Pearl was the former head coach at the University of Tennessee, where he recruited and landed former Liberty County standout Jordan McRae.
“I like the way coach Bruce Pearl coaches his players and the way he treats his players. You can tell he cares a lot about his players,” Mitchell said when pressed why he picked Auburn over the other top rated programs recruiting him.
Former Panther head coach Willie Graham said Mitchell has worked hard, especially in the classroom.
“He has put in a lot of time and still puts in a lot of time,” Graham said. “But the thing I am most proud about is that he put in more time academically and kept his grades up so he could choose. That is why he had so many offers because he kept himself to the point where, academically, he could choose.”
Mitchell is on the honor roll at LCHS.
Incoming first year head coach and Liberty alumnus Julian Stokes said Mitchell should have a great season ahead.
“I think this is a great opportunity right now for him to focus on his game,” Stokes said. “A lot of things had been going on recruitment-wise but that has come to an end and so he can focus on the little things he needs to do to get better.
I am proud of him and excited. I am fortunate to be in this opportunity to coach a player like Davion and I am excited for the future here at Liberty County High.”
Mitchell said he plans to study physical therapy in addition to playing basketball.
“I’m excited about his commitment to Auburn,” Mitchell’s uncle Derrick Mitchell said. “I have a good relationship with coach Bruce Pearl and his staff. Chuck Person, who is one of the assistant coaches at auburn, and a 27-year NBA veteran, played a big part in the decision making. He played alongside greats like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan and he also coached Kobe Bryant… So I am very excited about Davion’s commitment as I know the rest of his family is as well.”