Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has had a lot of down time in the past year.
After suffering a season-ending knee injury in the season opener in 2013, missing spring football and suffering yet another knee injury prior to fall camp, Mitchell has needed other ways to fill his time while he rehabilitates to get back on the field.
So, he joined a book club — an all-women’s book club.
And not just any all-women’s book club, one where all the women are between 40 and 60 years old.
“It’s funny because the first meeting I went to, they all asked how old my mom was,” Mitchell said in the video. “My mom is going to hate me for saying this, but she’s 42. And everyone in the book club is older than my mom. Everyone. Some of them are older than my grandmother. And I’ve been adopted into their family.”
Mitchell details the story in a video posted on the Georgia football website. He said he loves to read and always wanted to join a book club but didn’t know how. He was in Barnes and Noble with a friend and happened to run into a woman named Kathy Rackley, who was carrying several books and looking for more. He sought her reading advice and the two started talking about books, reading and eventually the book club.
When Mitchell asked about joining her book club, Rackley laughed at the request because it was all older women, but Mitchell insisted and Rackley took down his information to bring back to her club members.
“Are you like, a big deal football player and I just don’t know it,” Rackley recalls asking Mitchell. “And the friend that was with him was going, ‘Yeah.’ And I drove straight down to my neighbor’s house because they are young people who are very much into UGA football. They know all the players, all the stats, everything, So, I went down to their house and I said, ‘Do you know who Malcolm Mitchell is?’ And they went, ‘Yeah!’ And I went, ‘Well, he’s my new friend.’”
Thanks to the chance meeting, Mitchell has found a new peer group and has been able to take his love a reading to another level. He’s also picked up some other skills that he didn’t think he’d be learning in college.
“I definitely enjoy it because anytime there’s nothing to do in Athens, they always invite me over just to hang out with their kids, which are my age or some of them are older than me,” Mitchell said. “Just to hang out, eat, have fun, talk. And they do a lot of stuff that I never thought I would even be questioning myself about doing like cooking or Kathy actually knits and stuff like that. I don’t think I’ll get into it, but I might ask her to do something for me one day.”
Mitchell suffered a cartilage injury to his knee right before the start of fall camp, which required surgery. Coach Mark Richt did not set a timetable for Mitchell’s return.
But at least he has some good people to help him through his recovery.
“All the ladies in the club are great people, they’re definitely good people,” Mitchell said. “So, the relationships are great and I cherish them.”
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