HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Baylor junior guard Davion Mitchell swept three National Defensive Player of the Year Awards, the school announced on Friday, winning the NABC DPOY, Naismith Men’s DPOY and the Lefty Driesell Award.
“Winning National Defensive Player of the Year is a huge honor and I’m thankful to the committees for picking me out of so many great defenders,” Mitchell said in a release from the school. “There are countless people who have helped me work on my game over the years, and I’m so happy for all of them that they’re being rewarded for all of the time they’ve invested. My family, my coaches, all of my teammates and the grad assistants who have lived with me in the gym, they all played a part in this award. I thank God every day for this opportunity to play the game I love, and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete for a national championship with my teammates.”
Mitchell’s journey to becoming one of the nation’s top players began at Liberty County High School.
As a Panther, he was part of the 2016 state championship team alongside Georgia football star Richard LeCounte, and Oregon basketball player Will Richardson.
Liberty County Head Boys Coach Julian Stokes was the head coach then, and says Mitchell was always a hard worker with dreams of playing at the highest levels of basketball, so him making it this far is no surprise.
“I think this is something that’s in Davion’s nature, you know, he’s always been a winner, and every winner he’s been at he’s been successful, and he’s been able to win, you know, everywhere that he’s been able to go, so just seeing him back in another high end game, a final four at the college level,” Stokes said. “You know, it’s nothing foreign him being in the final stages of a season, but the college final four is something major, so I’m happy for him.”
In addition to Mitchell’s lockdown defense throughout the tournament, he’s averaging double-figure scoring as well.
Stokes says everyone in Hinesville right now is a bit of a Baylor Bears fan this weekend.
Mitchell and the 1-seeded Bears tip off against 2-seed Houston Saturday night on WTOC at 5:14 p.m. eastern.