Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Player of the year: Why you shouldn't snub Tony Mitchell
Don't let Tony Mitchell fool you. Being snubbed bothered him.
When the McDonald's All-American Game rosters were announced, he didn't see his name. When the Jordan Brand All-American Game rosters were released, even though he originally was told he'd be a lock for the game, he was devastated when he saw his name missing from the group.
"I was disappointed, but I stayed calm," Mitchell said. "I just played with a chip on my shoulder after that."
Mitchell's frustration, though unseen in conversation or facial expression, was ubiquitous with every crowd-pleasing dunk or every blocked shot thrown into some unmarked row in the audience. The 6-8 Missouri signee made sure the all-star game selection committees second-guessed their decisions, leading Pinkston to a 26-10 record and its first trip to the Class 4A Region II tournament.
Mitchell recently was named a Texas Association of Basketball Coaches all-state selection. He played all five positions effectively.
"[2008 graduate] Damarius Jones was one of the toughest players I've ever coached," Pinkston coach Nick Smith said, "but I never had a kid who dominated a game like Tony did, from the offensive end to the defensive end.
"There were games where he'd block a shot, push the ball up the court and finish it - all in the same play."
Mitchell had the ability to single-handedly control the outcome of a game. In arguably his most complete outing of the year, he had 25 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks in an overtime playoff win against Lincoln. Mitchell has the body of a power forward, the athleticism of a swingman and the ball-handling skills of a shifty guard. He now will focus on honing his skills at Missouri.
"I've learned you have to work hard and play hard all the time. You can't have any distractions," Mitchell said. "It's all about getting ready for the next level."
Smith added: "I know [Missouri coach] Mike Anderson is setting high marks for Tony. I think he can come in and be an impact player right off the bat. I don't know if they've got a guy like him now." RECENT WINNERS
Year Player School 2005 Calvin Miles Jr. Skyline 2006 Darrell Arthur South Oak Cliff 2007 John Roberson Plano 2008 Willie Warren North Crowley 2009 Shawn Williams Duncanville