From Rookie Phenom to Skyforce Elder Statesman
Tony Mitchell has been here before. His contorted body with pure release put in the winning basket that secured a win for Fort Wayne in the 2014 playoffs.
That shot propelled the Mad Ants to the championship that season and fueled the Sioux Falls Skyforce’s yearning to join those ranks. Mitchell realizes that being back in this situation is surreal, but part of the game.
“This is a strange feeling. I never thought I’d be in Sioux Falls playing with the team I have a history playing against. Through the years when I was with Fort Wayne I knew Sioux Falls had a good club and the Heat ran this program pretty well.”
Mitchell returns as the oldest member of a Sioux Falls group to start the 2017 season which means he sets the example.
“I try to be a leader for these young guys, getting them prepared for some of the situations that I’ve seen. I’ll be helping and guiding them on their way through this journey.”
Since winning it all with Fort Wayne, Mitchell has taken the international route through Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico, Russia, Israel and Australia before returning to the NBA G League.
“I’ve been a lot of places overseas and got a chance to play a lot of different styles of basketball. Now I’m coming back to play the NBA style. (Transitioning) will be tough. With this group of guys, they’re helping me get back into the groove of things.”
Leading up to his appearance in Sioux Falls, Miami signed Mitchell during the preseason with the intention to bring the former G League Rookie of the Year to the Skyforce as an affiliate player. It’s the next step in Mitchell’s basketball career which hopefully sends him back to the NBA.