Oklahoma State basketball: Walk-on Dee Mitchell awarded scholarship during shift at Walmart
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton and his staff took a trip to Walmart on Sunday with a surprise in mind.
Walk-on guard Dee Mitchell was working one of his shifts for the week and the staff had some wonderful news.
Mitchell is no longer a walk-on.
Boynton and his staff — with the quarantined Cowboys’ players on a Zoom call — surprised Mitchell at his full-time job with the news that he had earned a scholarship, bringing Mitchell to tears.
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You can watch the video below:
OSU recently had a scholarship open due to the departure of freshman Montreal Pena, a source told The Oklahoman. Pena had not practiced with the team in months and never suited up due to personal reasons.
Mitchell has played in just one game this season and suited up twice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSU is not suiting up walk-on players unless a spot on the bench opens up.
Mitchell, who is from Jefferson, Texas, joined the team in January 2019 following the dismissal of four players. Mitchell made the team in a tryout. He made five appearances that season.
Last season, he had big moments, earning more playing time as the season progressed.
He played in 19 games — appearing in 12 Big 12 games, including the Cowboys’ lone conference tournament game — and started twice at Houston and against Minnesota. He was 3 of 7 on the year and scored in four different games.
This season, Mitchell has been around the program on a limited basis, which helped him avoid contact tracing last week when the Cowboys’ postponed team activities indefinitely and postponed Saturday’s Bedlam matchup.
He took 19 hours of classes in the fall semester and started working at Walmart 30-40 hours per week in the summer to help his family, which was impacted financially by the pandemic.
Mitchell thought he would have to give up basketball. Instead, Boynton allowed him to keep his spot with the team.
And Mitchell is being rewarded.