Professional basketball star Devin Booker is a Phoenix rising.
The favorite sun of Phoenix is bringing the franchise back from the dead. With the help of veteran Chris Paul, there’s nothing the young shooting guard can’t do. He puts up ridiculous numbers on a nightly basis. He’s led Phoenix out of their playoff drought. But perhaps his most inspired work is off the court with the Special Olympics.
Booker finds inspiration in the love of his little sister, who lives with chromosome 22 deletion syndrome.
Booker is a Special Olympics Ambassador inspired by his love of the game and love of other people. When he’s not putting out triple-doubles or dating supermodels, Booker fights for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
More importantly than raising his stat line, NBA star Devin Booker raises awareness for the less fortunate.
Devin Booker’s Siblings & Upbringing
Devin Armani Booker was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Melvin Booker and cosmetologist Veronica Gutierrez. Melvin was a professional basketball player in the NBA, Europe, and other domestic leagues.
Devin was the only son of the couple, and when Melvin retired from pro basketball, Devin moved with his father from Grandville, Michigan, to Moss Point, Mississippi. Devin began building his basketball legend at Moss Point High School.
Though Devin was an only child of his parents, he had two half-siblings: a half-brother named Davon Wade and a half-sister named Mya Powell.
Mya was born with 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome, aka DiGeorge syndrome. Booker’s relationship with his half-sister Mya informs his off-the-court efforts today.
Booker received accolades for all of his high school basketball career. He was the 2012 South Mississippi Player of the Year, 2013 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year, and a 2014 McDonald’s All-American. Booker was highly sought after and chose to play college ball with John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. Booker left for the University of Kentucky in 2014.
Booker played as the sixth man for the stacked 2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats team. Their roster included Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Tyler Ulis. They lost only one game that year, and none in the regular season. The one loss came against Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
After a sensational one-and-done season, Book made the jump to the NBA. He joined a 2015 NBA Draft class even more loaded than his team at Kentucky.
Devin Booker’s NBA Greatness
The Phoenix Suns added All-Rookie Devin Booker with the 13th-overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. Booker’s Kentucky teammate Karl-Anthony Towns went No. 1 that year, but Booker has had the better career so far.
Some criticize Book for scoring too much on a bad Arizona team. That was then, but this is now. Booker’s nights of scoring 70 in a losing effort (the youngest player to do so) are in his past. Most of Booker’s NBA career stayed clouded in disrespect until two seasons ago.
First, Booker got a seat at the All-Star table, even if he was just an injury replacement. Then, the pandemic happened. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic-inspired 2020 Bubble, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns have been a force of nature.
Devin Booker forms a three-headed Phoenician monster with Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton. The trio put the Suns back in the center of the NBA universe like Steve Nash in the 2000s. They finished the 2021 regular season with the second-best record in the West behind the Utah Jazz.
The young sun is a bonafide star in 2021, ready to go supernova.
As of June 1, Booker and Paul have led the Suns to a tied series against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Playoffs. Though it is Booker’s first trip to the NBA playoffs, he looks plenty comfortable.
The Phoenix Suns guard learned to find comfort in discomfort from a young age with his sister Mya. She has inspired him to live a comfortable life off the NBA court, making other’s lives more comfortable in the process.
Devin Booker Off the Court
Off the NBA court, Devin Booker has dated Jordyn Woods and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” model Kendall Jenner (not Kylie Jenner – that’s her sister). The social media starlet has a thing for NBA players, and Booker isn’t her first All-Star. But he is her current All-Star, so I’m sure Bookner will last forever.
More importantly, Booker is a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. The superstar’s work with special needs individuals extends beyond his family to fans to total strangers, thanks to the Special Olympic Committee and his Devin Booker Starting 5 Initiative.
He gives both money and time to the cause. He took Jenna Warren, a Phoenix superfan with down syndrome, to the 2016 Draft Lottery in New York. It was her first time in the Big Apple, but a small show of Booker’s Olympic-sized generosity.
Booker joins an elite professional basketball team of Special Olympics Ambassadors, including Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Ricky Rubio, Dikembe Mutombo, Sam Perkins, Yao Ming, and Elena Delle Donne.
If not for his professional basketball-playing father, perhaps Devin Booker wouldn’t be such a great basketball player. But if not for his life-affirming sister Mya, maybe Booker wouldn’t be such a great human.