The Valley has a special dude looking out for it in Devin Booker. The young Suns star has looked out for the Phoenix community since the day he stepped foot into Talking Stick Resort Arena to begin his NBA career.
After beginning his maximum-salary contract extension this season, Booker hooked up with five local charities for $500,000 donations each at the start of the year. For his efforts, Booker received the league’s highest commendation for community work, the NBA Cares Community Assist award.
The charities were Special Olympics Arizona, Ability 360, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UMOM New Day Centers and the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
Check out the video the Suns put together of Booker informing each group they would be part of what he calls Devin Booker’s Starting Five, replete with an initial $100,000 donation to each charity.
While the Suns surged to a 7-4 start to the year and Booker received All-NBA buzz, he didn’t lose sight of his passion for the local community. My guess is there aren’t a lot of other 23-year-olds — even those lucky enough to be well off financially — who put so much back into the community that gave them those opportunities.
The November award was the first of Booker’s career.
The league recognizes one player per month and then at the end of the season will give a season-long Community Assist trophy to one player from around the NBA. Bradley Beal was the 2019 winner. Could Booker be next?