by Vlad Ionasc
This week, the Cheshire Phoenix confirmed the signing of former Alabama and Georgia State shooting-guard Devin Mitchell. I had the pleasure of interviewing Devin ahead of his first venture into professional basketball.
Mitchell began his collegiate career at Alabama before transferring back home to play for the Georgia State Panthers. During his time as a Panther, Mitchell established himself as an elite marksman. He etched his name in Georgia State’s history book by making 215 threes (third-most in program history) whilst shooting an eye-popping 42.4 percent from deep (third-best 3PT% in program history).
Mitchell’s junior year at Georgia State was by far his most accomplished. He played 35 games (all starts) and averaged 12 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game whilst shooting a career-high 44.7 percent from 3-point land. Mitchell was rewarded with a place in the 2018 All-Sun Belt Third Team for his excellent displays.
I asked our new two-guard about his collegiate career, his personal targets as a first-year pro, the best player he has teamed with so far, and many more!
And of course I asked him if he prefers Superman or Batman!
Devin, first of all, welcome to the Cheshire Phoenix! How excited are you to be part of the organisation?
Man thank you guys for having me, I’m really excited to be apart of the organization and meet everybody. I can’t wait.
How did the move to Phoenix come about?
My agent really, credit goes to him. He and Coach Ben had developed a relationship over the years and when Coach hit him up about a shooting guard my name came up and he liked what he saw.
What are your initial thoughts on competing in the British Basketball League? How do you assess the league in terms of difficulty?
I think it’s a great league and it gets better year after year. I’ve had guys that I know personally play in the league and they’ve all told me good things about it. Difficulty wise, it looks competitive, there’s good crowds in good size arenas, so when you have that the players have to be good so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Have you set yourself any personal targets for your rookie year as a pro?
I haven’t thought about it much to be honest. I think this year the most important thing for me to do is to focus on adjusting to the pro game and doing what I do best on the floor. My eventual goal is to be one of the best shooters in Europe so I want to get off to a good start doing that here in Cheshire.
For the Nix fans who haven’t seen you play yet, how would you describe your game?
Im a scorer, I like to shoot a lot of threes and put the ball in the basket. Get my teammates involved, just try to be a good all-around Guard.
Let’s talk about your college career. You spent your freshman year at Alabama and then transferred to Georgia State where you initially redshirted a year. What was that period like for you?
Alabama was great. Getting to play in the SEC against the Kentucky’s and Florida’s was a good experience for me. I learned a whole lot. But after that year I wanted to play closer to home so Georgia State was a perfect fit. They were just coming off a NCAA tourney run and looking to rebuild. I got a chance to redishirt learn Coach Hunter’s system, get better, and then be apart of some more championship runs with State.
Who was the best player you played with at Alabama and/or Georgia State?
D’Marcus Simonds hands down lol.
We know that you’re a dead-eye shooter, you earned that reputation during your time at Georgia State, however would you say that your other abilities have been overshadowed by your sensational three-point shooting?
Definitely. I think that was just more of my role at State so that’s what was showed more often. But I’m really comfortable in pick and roll situations and creating shots for myself.
Which aspect of your game do you think you need to improve on?
I want to be a better defender. I’ve worked on that a whole lot this offseason.
What did you study while playing basketball?
I was a journalism major with a minor in psychology.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
I assume that explains why you wear #24?
Yeah lol he’s my guy. Decided I won’t wear it anymore though out of respect.
What was the last movie you watched?
Bad boys 3.
Superman or Batman?
Batman everyday. I named my car Bruce lol.
What car do you drive?
A classic lol. Acura RL black on black
Twitter or Instagram?
Do you know any British slang?
Only “Bruv” so far lol. Looking forward to adding some of that though.
Who are you rooting for in the NBA bubble?
If you weren’t a professional basketball player then what would you be?
Probably a sports or entertainment agent.
And finally, what is your message to the Nix Nation ahead of the 2020/21 season?
To get ready for an exciting year. Coach Ben’s system is a perfect style of play for some exciting things to happen out there and it fits the guys that we have so far. That’s a good recipe for winning.