Andrew Simeona says his brother, who is in his 20s but has somewhat delayed development, was at the Apple Store at City Creek Mall Wednesday afternoon when he found out he would have to pay several hundred dollars to have his phone repaired.
Simeona said his brother met Mitchell and chatted with him briefly in the store, but didn't immediately recognize the Jazz star. Eventually a store rep came back and told his brother the repair would cost a few hundred dollars.
"And he was kind of disappointed because he knew he didn't have the money to get it repaired," Simeona said of his brother, who asked not be identified. "I guess Donovan heard that and intervened. He decided he was going to cover the cost of the phone for him."
Simeona said the gesture meant a great deal to his brother and inspired him.
“It really made my brother’s day, and I think it left a good mark on him in terms of service and helping other people out," he said.
After Mitchell left, store reps confirmed to his brother the Good Samaritan was also Utah's NBA standout. Donovan Mitchell later confirmed the story himself in a response to a tweet from Simeona about the act of kindness.
"All love," Mitchell wrote. "Glad I could help!"
Simeona said his entire family is "super grateful", but not at all surprised.
“He was a little down about it, and Donovan just noticed an opportunity to serve and help someone out," he said. "We’ve noticed all of the great things that he’s done as he’s gotten to Utah and gotten involved in the community, just from afar. For it to happen directly to our family, I can’t say I was surprised at all given the stories we’ve already heard and seen. But just extremely grateful that he would see the opportunity to help someone and take advantage of that.”
The family says it's the thought behind the gesture that moved them more than the money itself.
“Even if it was just a couple dollars, it’s the act itself that made the difference," Simeona said. "...Just grateful for all the good that he does for the community and happy to see him continue doing the same."