Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell did not wear his regular No. 45 jersey during practice on Saturday. Instead, Mitchell wore No. 22 to pay tribute to Utah Utes football players Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan.
“I wanted to pay my respects,” Mitchell, who entered his fifth season with the Jazz, said after practice, reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. “…I’m not going to change my number, it’s just that the Utes and all of Utah paid their respects not just to Aaron but to Ty. I just wanted to pay my respects in my own way. That was the premise of it .”
Lowe, who was 21, was fatally shot early in the morning of September 26 in Salt Lake City. That came less than a year after Jordan, a teammate and friend of Lowe’s, was accidentally killed in December. Salt Lake City Police Are Investigating Lowe’s Shooting As Murder.
In his third season as a defensive backer with Utah, Lowe had played in the Utes’ first four games. He was the first recipient of Utah’s Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship. Lowe and Jordan, both from Mesquite, Texas, were high school teammates. When Jordan died, Lowe changed his number from number 2 to number 22.
“Aaron was a wonderful teammate, friend, brother and son and was loved by everyone who crossed him,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement last week. “He will be greatly missed.”