Best College Athlete - 2012
Go back to this time a year ago, and Kwamain Mitchell was in a much different place. He had been suspended from the Saint Louis University men's basketball team for the 2010-2011 season following allegations of sexual assault and was just trying to get his life back on track. The early fall of 2011 was not a great time to be Kwamain Mitchell. Too many questions, too many shadows. Just too too much. Then came March. More specifically, March 16, 2012, the night Kwamain Mitchell put the Billikens on his back and carried them past the Memphis Tigers, a team favored to easily defeat SLU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Mitchell made sure that didn't happen, scoring 22 points, including two huge three-pointers down the stretch to help put the Tigers away, leading the Billikens to a 61-54 victory. Unfortunately for the Billikens, their run was cut short when they ran up against top-seeded Michigan State, but SLU pushed Tom Izzo's team to the brink also, thanks in no small part to Mitchell's contributions. The tournament performance was a perfect cap for a remarkable season, a season that saw Mitchell return to the team and fight to reestablish himself. The fact he was able to succeed was a testament to his toughness, as well as his skills. Life is a series of second chances; none of us ever get everything right the first time. Kwamain Mitchell made the most of his second chance. In doing so, he gave Billiken fans some great memories.