Spend a few minutes evaluating 6’8” 2022 prospect Dillon Mitchell and it’s easy to see that he’s equipped with the surface-level tools needed to succeed at the next level. Combine that with his eye-popping fluidity, bounce and agility and you have a player that has a chance to be special. A native of Tampa, Florida, Mitchell grew up playing football until he opted to give basketball a shot after being prompted by his mother. He quickly fell in love with the game and hasn’t looked back. Mitchell started to make his mark on the local scene during his time at Sickles High School (FL) and on the EYBL circuit, but after a transition to Bishop McLaughlin to join Coach Derrick Sharp and 4-star prospect Emanuel Sharp, Mitchell’s game has really taken off.
He and Sharp, along with talented guards Anthony Davis, Jr. and Joshua Watkins, helped lead a team that was 2-22 the previous season to a 22-7 record and an appearance in the state championship. Mitchell immediately meshed with his new teammates and coaching staff and credits former USF and Maccabi Tel Aviv star, Coach Derrick Sharp for much of his development this past season. Mitchell worked on expanding his skill-set by exploiting mismatches off the bounce, acting as a facilitator in transition, being more assertive at the basket, and improving as a shooter. Mitchell also excelled as a cutter and benefited off a number of feeds from his teammates. With an uptick in confidence combined with his work ethic and natural gifts, Mitchell is just starting to scratch the surface of what type of player he can be. Look for the offers to continue rolling in as he gains more exposure over the coming months.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Mitchell discusses his growth as a player, his recruitment, his background, various off-court interests, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Dillon Mitchell, from Tampa, Florida:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Dillon Mitchell: I live in Tampa, Florida — I’ve lived here my whole life and I love it here, I love living in Florida. I’ve got two brothers and two sisters, and I’ve got one sister who has five kids — got nephews running all over the house. I started off playing football as a kid, I love football, and then my mom asked me to go to a tryout for basketball and I didn’t really want to go, but she told me that she’d take me out with some of my friends if I tried out for basketball. After that tryout I fell in love with the game and ended up stopping football to keep going with basketball. I love it now and that’s what I do every day.
PI: What positions did you play in football?
DM: I played wide receiver. I was always the tallest out of everybody in my grade so I played wide receiver.
PI: When did you transition to basketball full-time?
DM: I believe it was around fifth grade — that’s when I started to play basketball and take it seriously and I loved it.
PI: Were you ever tempted to restart football?
DM: There was for a little bit, I was actually thinking about it starting high school, but I really love basketball. After freshman year is when I got my first couple of offers and I was like, “nah I can really go far in this sport if I take it seriously” so I kept going with it.
PI: Any athletes in the family?
DM: My older brother played basketball and I know on my mom’s side they played football, so there’s some athleticism there, but it’s really just God gifted.
PI: You're listed at 6'8" — where do you get your height from?
DM: My mom is around 5’7” and my dad is like 6’0”, but I know all my uncles on my mom’s side are tall and my brother’s tall, he’s like 6’7”.
PI: For those that aren’t super familiar with your game — what are your greatest strengths?
DM: I would say using my athleticism, getting to the hoop and finishing over people. Defending, I’m real long so I can really defend full court. I’m also fast and athletic, so to me I can really guard all positions — I can guard a PG and keep up with them, stay in front and defend. Then I’m just working on everything to become an all-around great player.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most?
DM: This off-season I’ve been working a lot on the jump shot, just form and technique. Then working on my handles to control the ball. Mainly those two things are the main things I’m focusing on, and also in the weight room, becoming bigger and stronger.
PI: What are some underrated parts of your game you feel you don’t get enough credit for?
DM: I would say my vision on the court, there were a couple games during the season where I would have 7, 6, or 8 assists in a game. So I think my vision and my IQ on the court, hitting my teammates when they’re open, finding them when they’re cutting, and being unselfish.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
DM: I’d definitely say, I think it was the second session of EYBL, I’d definitely say Emoni Bates. He’s definitely like Kevin Durant, long and can shoot it. That was a tough matchup, but it was a fun one though. It was fun to go against him.
PI: Were you matched up on Emoni?
DM: Yeah, I mean we played them three times so the first time we played them we went into a zone; then the second time I kind of guarded him — me and my teammate Lewis kind of took turns guar