Mitchell is content to confine his own vice to the privacy of the gym and the bedroom. As a starter on the United States team at the World University Games in Kobe, Japan over the summer, he met up with another ball, the Mikasa. "Ooooh, it was heavy," he says. "A rock. Didn't like that."
And he has even had a fling with the official ball of the NBA, a cousin of his Spalding steady. "In the summers, [ex-UAB star and former pro] Oliver [Robinson] would come by with one and we'd say, 'Let's play with the real deal.'
"It's got these big, wide seams," Mitchell says with affection. "I can see how Erving and Jordan and those guys can really take off with it. I like the grooves on it. It feels good."
They should make quite a couple.