SALT LAKE CITY –The families of Drayke Hardman and Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor presented Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell with their commemorative NBA All-Star rings.
Hardman, 12, and Tichenor, 10, were college students from Utah who lost their lives after being bullied.
Gobert and Mitchell received the rings before Utah’s game against the Houston Rockets.
KSL Sports has learned that Mitchell reached out to the Hardman family this week and offered them a heartfelt message and signed memorabilia.
Hardman’s father, Andy, shared the difficult news in a tweet to Mitchell, Gobert and Jordan Clarkson.
“Our adorable 12-year-old passed away this morning after attempting to take his own life last night. He is Utah Jazz‘s biggest fan. Thank you for making a bright spot in his heart. #doitfordrayke,” Hardman tweeted about the loss of his son.
In November 20221, the Utah Jazz Foundation donated to a Gofundme for Tichenor and observed a minute of silence in his honor before a game against the Indiana Pacers.
Jazz honored Tichenor earlier this year
Brittany Tichenor, mother of Isabella Faith Tichenor, says her daughter, who was black and autistic, was bullied at Foxboro Elementary. The family accuses the teachers of being part of the problem. They also allege the school district did nothing about it, reports KSL News Radio.
Brittany Tichenor recalled her 10-year-old daughter telling her she didn’t think her teacher liked her. The mother also claimed that the teacher said the class smelled bad.
Brittany Tichenor wants all parents to understand that all children are unique. And that’s what makes them special, she said at a vigil for Izzy.
The Jazz invited the Tichenor family to a game earlier this season and honored Izzy with a moment of silence, and donated to their GoFundMe page through the Utah Jazz Foundation.
Jazz players on bullying
Mitchell spoke about the death of the 10-year-old Davis County girl.
“It’s mind-boggling. It’s sad, it’s, it’s downright disgusting,” Mitchell opened.
“But like, nobody did anything. You know it was a child and a girl with autism and black…our jobs especially in the education forum just inspire and teach our young people to be better people than us…and the fact that , as adults people sat there and let it keep getting to a point where a 10 year old girl killed herself because of it, to me that’s not right, that doesn’t feel right to me Mitchell added.
Former Jazzman Joe Ingles also spoke about the tragedy on Twitter.
“As an organization, there is no doubt that everyone is behind them. Whatever we can do, we had a really good conversation about some things we can do obviously now, to try to help as best we can,” Ingles said. “But also in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And not just to a child with special needs, but any child, every child, every adult, everyone…deserves to go to work or school or whatever we do and be free and to take advantage of it.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like, as a human being, how can you let it get to this point? How do you do, especially after being told about it, you know, you can’t say you didn’t know. And I think that’s something I still wonder, I can only imagine what his family is going through my heart, my deepest condolences go out to his family,” Mitchell said.
Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
You can also send an SMS TO SPEAK for 741741and parents, students and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT (723388) to get in touch with a certified crisis counsellor.
- Parents, students and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to get in touch with a licensed crisis counsellor.
- First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and medical professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor toll-free 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can get help through the SafeUTNG app.
- For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear while you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call Utah Hot Line at 1-833-SPEAKUT (773-2588) from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- AT Huntsman Institute of Mental Healthwomen can access maternal mental health services, including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.orga campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition provides suicide prevention training and resources for faith groups, youth, LGBTQ+ and employers.
Other community organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling and support:
Additional crisis hotlines
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
- National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ Teens: 1-866-488-7386