It’s never easy to find that perfect environment.
This past summer talented youngster Ajay Mitchell had a tough decision to make. After 2 very solid European Tournaments with the Belgian National Youth Teams (U16 & U18) and a strong berth at the NBA Academy Games (9.5 ppg) Mitchell had started raising some eyebrows with his clearly visible potential and several clubs (from Belgium and beyond) were trying to entice the lanky Point Guard to join their program.
It took him a while to make his decision but eventually the young man settled on a path to take: join Nanterre in the strong French Espoirs championship to further develop his physical abilities and then reach for a scholarship of a NCAA college when he becomes eligible.
His season at Nanterre started promisingly enough as Mitchell played in a total of 13 games (including 3 starts, despite being one of the youngest players on the roster) and averaged 6.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.0 apg & 0.9 spg in 19.4 mpg. As a Point Guard he also took excellent care of the ball, suffering only 0.9 turnovers per game. Unfortunately he did struggle big time with his shooting. Although his 2pt attempts went down at a very respectable 53%, his 3pt shot just wouldn’t drop and uncharacteristically he only managed to hit 19% on his shots from behind the arc, while his FT shooting was also a bit lower than expected at (a still very solid) 69.7%. Unfortunately Mitchell’s season at Nanterre came to an early halt as he played his last game for them just before Christmas (a loss against Cholet).
It was a solid plan, but unfortunately things don’t always work out as expected and so – only a couple of months later – Mitchell has now left Nanterre and has returned to Belgium to finish High School and continue his basketball development with Hubo Limburg United.
Barely arrived in Limburg (he joined the club this past Thursday) Mitchell has already made his debut with the A-team as he played 4 minutes in the nice win against Okapi Aalstar last evening. In those 4 minutes the youngster hit 1/2 FG attempts for his 2 points, while he also grabbed 1 rebound and dished out 1 assist. For a debut at the highest level in Belgium I’d say those were a pretty promising first couple of minutes.
After the departure of their go-to-player (Jared Wilson-Frame) Limburg had announced that they would push their youth players forwards and it looks like they’re staying true to their word. With Mitchell added to the team they certainly have a very nice prospect to work with and we can only hope that Ajay has now found that perfect environment he was looking for.