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Former UofL star Donovan Mitchell gives back to alma mater with exclusive adidas ‘Shoe for Change’


By John Karman III
University of Louisville

Former University of Louisville basketball star Donovan Mitchell has teamed up with adidas and his alma mater to support current and future Black students at the school.

Through his passion for education, all proceeds from the sales of the exclusive D.O.N. Issue #2 x Louisville sneaker, up to $200,000, will go toward funding several academic initiatives and scholarships.

Through Donovan Mitchell’s passion for education, all proceeds from the sales of the exclusive D.O.N. Issue #2 x Louisville sneaker, up to $200,000, will go toward funding several academic initiatives and scholarships. (UofL photo)

The proceeds from the adidas.com sales of what is being coined as “A Shoe for Change” aim to bring positive and lasting transformation to the Louisville community. Mitchell and adidas worked closely with the UofL Office of Diversity and Equity to determine which scholarships and academic initiatives to fund to best serve its diverse student population.

These initiatives include the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship Program, the Muhammad Ali Scholar Program, the Health and Social Justice Scholars Program and an expanded emergency fund to help increase retention rates of the impacted students, allowing them to focus on their studies and work toward graduation.

Alongside Mitchell and adidas, WNBA star Angel McCoughtry also is supporting the efforts tied to her alma mater.

“I am so proud of Donovan and Angel for their commitment to the university, the local community and our ongoing diversity and equity efforts,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “We all know that both of these former Cardinals are fabulous basketball players, but they also are great leaders and role models. The impact from the sale of this shoe will be felt at their alma mater for years to come. We are so honored to have both in the Cardinal Family.”

Members of the UofL men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear the limited-edition colorway in upcoming games. Mitchell is now a standout guard in the NBA for the Utah Jazz.

Donovan Mitchell



“With my mom being a teacher and based on the values she taught me from a young age, I have always understood the importance of education, which is why adidas and I worked with my alma mater, the University of Louisville, to ensure proceeds from the Louisville colorway of D.O.N. Issue #2 would fund scholarships to support Black students,” Mitchell said. “I am passionate about giving back, so having the opportunity to support the Louisville community, a place that helped shape me, is really special and it’s great my friend and champion for equality, Angel McCoughtry, is supporting these efforts as well.”

“Donovan Mitchell is a special talent on the basketball court and an even better person off the court. I’m proud to call him a friend and fellow ‘Cardinal Forever.’ I’m excited to work with him and adidas to support the Louisville community that means so much to me,” McCoughtry said. “I’m always proud to wear Donovan’s shoe on court, and I know these scholarship funds generated by the shoe’s sales will leave a lasting impact on the Black students who receive them and the greater Louisville community.”

D.O.N. Issue #2 x Louisville (A Shoe for Change) drops on Dec. 17 for $100 at 1 p.m. EST on adidas.com. “A Shoe for Change” represents the first sneaker available for fans to purchase among adidas, Mitchell and the Cardinals.

The sneaker’s name, D.O.N., remains a testament to Mitchell’s Determination Over Negativity, aiming to be a vehicle for positive disruption on the court and in communities. The D.O.N. Issue #2 x Louisville portrays the familiar UofL colors and its iconic mascot, Louie the Cardinal, featured inside the rubber outsole dunking.

The shoe’s lace overlay includes the Cardinals’ rallying cry, “Louisville First, Cards Forever,” and the heel features “THE VILLE” as a tribute to the city’s long-standing nickname.


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