Donovan Mitchell is a great basketball player. It’s no contest. But the Cleveland Cavaliers star could have pursued another athletic path, like baseball, considering the fact that his father is well embedded into the sport via a job in the big leagues.

Ultimately, Mitchell decided to be serious about basketball, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped thinking of baseball (Via Run Your Race).

“Every day I’m like ‘I miss the game’… I was really good at baseball, I was trash at basketball… I definitely thought about baseball but I was like ‘I’m gonna keep building’, I just want to see how far this could take us.”

Because his father is a New York Mets employee, Donovan Mitchell grew up a fan of that team and even managed to hang out with players in the locker room.

“I was like a kid in a candy store,” Mitchell told Bill Ladson of back in June. “You have your favorite players in your favorite sport. You are a die-hard Mets fan. Obviously seeing those guys on a daily basis, seeing them in the non-professional environment, that’s what was special.

Apparently, it was the challenge to become better at basketball that lured Donovan Mitchell into it. Baseball came naturally to him, but his competitiveness and desire to prove he could excel at basketball had him gravitating toward it. It all checked out well for him, as he’s enjoyed star status in the best basketball league in the world.

So far in the 2023-24 NBA season, Donovan Mitchell is averaging 27.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.