NBA star Donovan Mitchell speaks out after coronavirus diagnosis

Mitchell is the second player for the Utah Jazz to be diagnosed with the virus.
Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell during a game on March 9Alex Goodlett / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

NBA star Donovan Mitchell is speaking out after being diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

The Utah Jazz player, 23, shared an Instagram post Thursday urging fans to educate themselves about the coronavirus and to "be there for each other" in the event that they or their loved ones need help.

"Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them," Mitchell wrote.

Mitchell learned he had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier on Thursday. He is the second NBA player to be diagnosed with the virus. His Utah Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert, 27, tested positive for the virus Wednesday. Gobert’s test result, reported shortly before a game in Oklahoma City that was canceled, prompted the NBA to indefinitely suspend the season.

"I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the @utahjazz who have been so supportive," Mitchell wrote in his post.

"I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help," he added.

Hours after Mitchell's post, Gobert confirmed his diagnosis on Instagram.

"I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours," he wrote. "I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis ... mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment."

Gobert — who touched reporters' tape recorders during a media session Monday as a joke after addressing a coronavirus-related question — added, "The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously."

Gobert wrote that he is "under great care and will fully recover."

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Mitchell and Gobert are among a small number of celebrities and sports figures to confirm they've been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Oscar winner Tom Hanks announced Wednesday on Instagram that he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, both 63, had both tested positive for the virus.

Hanks assured fans he and Wilson were following medical officials' protocols.

“We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?” he wrote.

The actor also urged fans to "take care of yourselves!"