If you’re a Phoenix Suns fan, enduring the rebuild since the departure of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire is undoubtedly frustrating. Fortunately though, there is one bright spot to Suns fandom (pun very much intended). His name is Devin Booker. Everyone knows he gets buckets — like 70 point game at 20 years old type of buckets. Booker is one of the best faces any NBA franchise has to offer. However, his greatness comprises more than just his game on the court.
For example, last season during NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, Booker partnered with nonprofit organization Baby2Baby which helps provide necessities for infants and children from low-income families. Helping to pack donation bags, Booker contributed to the organization’s delivery of 180,000 items to those in need last year. Items ranged from school supplies to clothes and also included a special note from Booker himself.
In addition, Booker played a significant role at the Phoenix Suns annual Jump Ball Gala on January 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gala’s purpose is to encourage donations to Phoenix Suns Charities, the team’s charitable arm that supports kids in need throughout Phoenix and Greater Arizona. This year’s gala raised over $1 million dollars. The Suns Charities organization hopes to continue improving the graduation rate at Central High School, which has seen a 17 percent increase since the organization’s $1.1 million endowment for school programs over the past few years.
At the gala, Booker pledged to donate $2.5 million dollars to Suns Charities. He will donate $500,000 per season for the next five years — the length of his contract extension with the Suns. Booker and the Suns Charities board will pick a “starting five” each year consisting of five nonprofits that will each receive $100,000 of Booker’s donation. In a recent tweet, Booker stated, “My favorite accomplishment of my career thus far!! Blessed to be in the position to be able to give back and make an impact here on the community in Phoenix!”
Originally hailing from Michigan, Booker has fully embraced Arizona as his new home and community. In a market like Phoenix, loyalty matters. Without a great roster or a great leader, it is not typically a premiere free agent landing spot. However, Booker is now providing a superstar draw to the Grand Canyon State. Evidently, the Suns will have him in Arizona for a long time and will pair him alongside some amazing talent if they play their cards right. Phoenix, you’re not rebuilding. You’re reloading.