The Utah Jazz made the most of a pledge to award a college scholarship for each of their wins during the preseason and regular season.
On Sunday, they wrapped up their season with victory over the Sacramento Kings to secure the NBA's best record at 52-20. Add three preseason wins to the tally, and that works up to 55 college scholarships for Utah high school students.
Team owner Ryan Smith announced the scholarship fund in January. By the time he'd worked out the details in March, 30 scholarships had been pledged. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder told the Deseret News in March that players were excited to play a role — and he appreciated any extra incentive to pick up wins.
“It was something that the players were really excited about when they heard about it,” Snyder said. “Obviously, any extra motivation is welcome.”
Jazz players share the good news
On Wednesday, the Jazz shared video of players surprising the recipients of the first 30 scholarships.
Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert were among the players to share the good news.
Who gets the scholarships?
According to the Jazz, all of the recipients demonstrated financial need and 90% will be first-generation college students. All of the recipients will attend one of six in-state schools, including the University of Utah, BYU and Utah State.
The scholarships are set up to serve underrepresented communities. Applicants were required to graduate from a Utah high school and to be a person of color to be considered. The scholarships will cover four years of tuition, books, fees and room and board.
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