INDIANAPOLIS — Kelsey Mitchell would love to be able to earn her first WNBA All-Star appearance next month in Chicago.
The Indiana Fever guard and former All-American at Ohio State and Princeton High School is more than deserving.
"For me I would be very grateful," said Mitchell, who is in her fifth season with Indiana. "I would be happy — and not because it's just the title but to see some of your work manifest, I think it can be exciting."
Mitchell's game speaks for itself. The 2014 Princeton High School graduate averages 18.8 points, fourth in scoring average this season in the WNBA.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, Mitchell has 10 games of scoring at least 20 points for the Fever (5-13). She also leads the league in total minutes and points. She averages 4.1 assists and is shooting 91% from the free-throw line.
If that resume wasn't enough, she has never missed a single WNBA game. She has played in 140 consecutive games entering Thursday's contest at Dallas.
"I'm one of these people that if I can play and nothing is broken and nothing is fractured or sprained or tore, I'm going to play," Mitchell said.
Indiana Fever interim head coach Carlos Knox said Mitchell never misses practice either.
"She has a lot of knick-knack injuries," Knox said. "Little things because she goes at a high level at all times. She always comes in, holds her head up high and you never hear about them."
Knox said an All-Star Game selection would be very significant for Mitchell and the team. The starters are announced Wednesday while reserves are selected June 28.
"It would definitely be something that would be eventful," Knox said. "Just very much appreciated by the culture, the community of Indianapolis. It's one of those things where the Indiana Fever basketball is a very big deal here and the city. With her leading the charge it would be more than grateful to have that as an experience. And I will tell you what, I will be front row."
Mitchell's work ethic is second to none on the team as a leader.
"She is such a good person," Knox said. "She is such a good individual. Very good representative for your organization as well as your team."
Mitchell said she gets nervous thinking about the all-star game opportunity that occurs July 10 in Chicago but it does cross her mind from time to time.
Most importantly, Mitchell's inspiration for the game of basketball stems from family and friends in Cincinnati.
"I think about our city and where we come from," Mitchell said. "The amount of deaths we've seen. The amount of deaths from people close to me. I play for everybody else and it sucks to say that. But I play knowing that I can put on a smile on my mom's face, my grandmother's face, my dad's face, the people at Princeton High School. That's my engine. I think I thrive off the fact I put myself in a position to celebrate the city of Cincinnati, African-American basketball players that are women, athletes that come from Cincinnati that get this rep that we can't make it out."
Mitchell said if she can make others happy through basketball she is doing her job.
"To be able to be an example of something that is positive it makes me feel really good inside," Mitchell said.