Devin Booker

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Devin Booker
Devin Booker (30362063153).jpg
Booker with the Suns in November 2016
No. 1 – Phoenix Suns
PositionShooting guard
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1996-10-30) October 30, 1996 (age 22)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeKentucky (2014–2015)
NBA draft2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Suns
Playing career2015–present
Career history
2015–presentPhoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Devin Armani Booker (born October 30, 1996) is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Moss Point High School in Moss Point, Mississippi and played in the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game,[1] before spending one season playing college basketball for the University of Kentucky.[2][3] He was drafted 13th overall in the 2015 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. On March 24, 2017, Booker became the youngest player to score over 60 points in a game, finishing with 70 against the Boston Celtics.[4] His father, Melvin Booker, played for three teams in the NBA.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Booker is the son of Veronica Gutiérrez and Melvin Booker, who was named the 1994 Big Eight Player of the Year while a point guard at Missouri.[7][8] His parents met while his father was playing basketball for the Continental Basketball Association's Grand Rapids Hoops in Gutiérrez's hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.[9] Booker was born and raised in Grand Rapids, living with his Mexican American[10] and Puerto Rican[11] mother while his father pursued a professional basketball career internationally. He visited his father regularly during the summer.[12] Booker was taught by his father that having basketball IQ was just as important as natural athleticism.[13] During his time in middle school, Booker became friends with future NBA players D'Angelo Russell and Tyler Ulis.[14]

High school career[edit]

Sophomore year[edit]

After playing for the freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball teams during his freshman year at Grandville High School in Michigan, Booker moved to Mississippi to live with his father after the latter's retirement from professional basketball.[9] He enrolled at Moss Point High School, where his father was hired as an assistant coach, in August 2011.[15][9][16] In his team's fifth game of the season—a 52–32 loss to Gulfport High School—Booker scored more points (17) than the rest of his teammates combined (15).[17] In December, he hit a buzzer beater from just beyond half court to beat Harrison Central High School, improving Moss Point's record to 4–6 on the year.[18] By early January, Press-Register sportswriter Creg Stephenson opined, "Sophomore guard Devin Booker has developed into one of the top players on the coast in his first season with the [Moss Point] Tigers' varsity, averaging 22.7 points per game."[19]

In the Laurel MLK Shootout, Booker scored 54 points against Northeast Jones High School, falling nine shy of Litterial Green's Moss Point record for most points in a game, set in 1988.[20] He followed up that performance with 32 points, including a game-winning three-pointer, against Murrah High School and was named ESPNHS.com's Southeast Player of the Week.[9] At that time, his father told reporters that Booker was drawing interest from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Florida, Alabama, Georgetown, Michigan and Missouri.[9]

Booker was limited to just 14 points, with no field goals made in the second half, in a 57–55 win over Gautier High School in the opening round of the Division 7-5A tournament.[21] In the championship game against Pascagoula High School, Booker was held to single-digit scoring (8) for only the second time in the season as Moss Point lost 48–32, setting up an away game with defending state champion Wayne County High School in the first round of the South State playoffs.[22] Wayne County focused their defense on Booker, holding him to a single, first-quarter free throw, en route to a 57–37 victory that ended Moss Point's season.[23] For the year, Booker averaged 22.8 points per game and was named the South Mississippi Player of the Year by the Sun Herald, becoming just the second sophomore to be awarded the honor.[24] In the announcement, the paper reported that Booker held scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Alabama, Georgetown, Michigan and South Alabama.[24]

In the summer following his sophomore year, Booker played in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and participated in the Elite 100 Camp, the LeBron James King's Academy Camp, and the Kevin Durant Nike Skills Camp.[20] These commitments caused him to miss the inaugural South Mississippi All-Star Basketball Showcase in May.[25]

Junior year[edit]

With most of Moss Point's experienced players graduating, Booker switched to point guard for his junior year.[20] In an early December game, Booker outscored the entire Ocean Springs High School team 40–39 through three quarters en route to a 48-point finish as Moss Point won 100–55.[26] After the game, a Sun Herald reporter wrote of Booker, "He's extremely athletic, can shoot the lights out and plays with a high degree of energy no matter if he's on offense or defense. Booker uses his quickness and long wingspan to deny pass after pass. And when he gets his hands on a steal, he knows exactly what to do with it."[26] He followed up this performance with a 30-point outing, including 7 three-pointers, in a win over 54–37 win over Laurel High School in the second annual Melvin Booker Shootout, named in honor of his father.[27] The following week, Booker left a game against Harrison Central High School in the third quarter with a sprained MCL; he had scored just 9 points, but grabbed 7 rebounds.[28]

Booker's injury proved minor, and did not hamper him in Moss Point's next game, where he scored 26 points in a 52–48 loss to Davidson High School in the Jackie Laird Christmas Classic at Biloxi High School.[29][30] On the second day of the Classic, Booker scored a season-high 49 points in an 80–65 win over Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School, a performance that added Duke to the list of schools recruiting him.[29][31] In early January, Moss Point went 1–2 in the Poplar Bluff showdown in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, defeating Memphis' Kirby High School but losing to Maplewood Richmond Heights High School and host Poplar Bluff High School.[29] University of Missouri fans attended en masse to cheer for Booker, who averaged 30.2 points over Moss Point's three games, hoping to entice him to play for the Tigers.[29]

Booker scored a game-high 32 points in a 58–56 loss to Gulfport High School, the top-ranked team in Mississippi, in Moss Point's final game before divisional play, dropping the team's record to 6–11.[32] Moss Point went 3–3 in Division 7-5A, finishing the divisional season with a 51–40 victory over Gautier High School.[33] Booker, who struggled with his outside shot due to a wrap on his injured right wrist, hit all 17 of his free throws en route to a game-high 30 points in the win.[33] Moss Point closed out the regular season with a 67–65 loss to Division 5-6A champion Hattiesburg High School, despite 43 points from Booker.[34]

The following week, Moss Point faced a rematch with Gautier in the first round of the Division 7-5A tournament with a spot in the state tournament on the line.[33] Moss Point fell 54–51 in double overtime, ending the team's season at 12–16.[35] Booker scored 35 points in the loss, including 17 free throws.[36] For the year, he averaged 29.7 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game while carrying a 3.81 grade point average.[37] He was named to the Division 7-5A All-Division team and was the division's MVP.[38] In March, he was named the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year for 2013, and in April, he became the second player ever to win the Sun Herald Player of the Year Award in consecutive seasons.[15][39]

By the end of Moss Point's season, Booker held scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, and Mississippi State.[40] Rivals.com ranked him a four-star prospect and the 30th best player overall in the class of 2014; ESPN tabbed him as the 18th best player overall.[40] Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels called Booker "one of the best shooters" in the country.[15] In April, Booker began playing for the Alabama Challenge on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit.[41] After watching Booker play for the first time in the league's opening weekend, Kentucky coach John Calipari offered Booker a scholarship.[15] At the South Mississippi All-Star event in May, Booker scored 23 points to lead his East team over the West team 101–70 in the underclassman game.[42]

Senior year[edit]

During the summer of 2013, Booker participated in the Kevin Durant Skills Academy, the LeBron James Skills Academy, the CP3 Elite Guard Camp, and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 camp.[41] His fellow participants in the NBPA camp voted him to the camp's 10-man all-star team.[43] Booker also participated against international competition at the Nike Global Challenge.[41] At the Under Armor Elite 24 showcase, he won the three-point shooting contest.[44] In August 2013, Booker narrowed his list of potential college choices to Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Michigan State, and Kentucky.[45] He took an official visit to Kentucky on the weekend of September 9 to watch an alumni exhibition game; fellow 2014 prospects Jahlil Okafor and Tyler Ulis also attended.[46]

Near the beginning of October, his high school coach said Booker would announce his college choice on October 31 after taking official visits to Michigan and Missouri; he also stated that Booker was no longer considering Florida.[47] Booker stated that ESPN had offered him the chance to make his announcement on live television, but he declined, saying he didn't want the pressure of such an event and that he wanted to keep the date flexible to allow his family from Michigan to attend.[48] At an October 31 ceremony at his high school gymnasium, Booker announced he had chosen Kentucky, citing the program's history and his affinity for coach John Calipari as primary factors in his decision.[45][49] He, Tyler Ulis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles all signed National Letters of Intent to play for Kentucky on November 13, the first day of the official signing period.[50]

In December, Booker's Moss Point team traveled to the Marshall County Hoop Fest in Marshall County, Kentucky, to play Louisville's Ballard High School, the top-rated high school team in the state.[51] Booker led his team in points (40), rebounds (9), and assists (2) while shooting 50% from the field and 20-for-24 from the free throw line, but his team lost the game.[51] Two games later, he scored a season-high 45 points in a 78–67 loss to Alabama's McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in the Melvin Booker Shootout.[52] Although Moss Point lost all three games they played in the late-December HighSchoolOT.com Invitational, Booker's 111 total points over those three games fell just four short of Donald Williams' 1991 record for the event.[53]

Booker's 38-point performance in a January 31 win against Pass Christian High School made him Moss Point's all-time career scoring leader with 2,263 points, surpassing the 2006 mark of 2,251 set by David Booker (no relation).[54] Moss Point won Mississippi's Region 8-4A regular season and tournament championships before ending their season with a 61–56 loss to McComb High School in the Class 4A South State Finals.[55] Booker scored 42 points in the loss, including 26 in the fourth quarter.[56] He averaged 30.9 points per game in his senior season and finished his three-year career at Moss Point with 2,518 points.[55] After the season, he was named to the USA Today All-USA third team.[57]

In the 2014 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, Booker had a game-high 31 points and was named MVP of the Mississippi team, but his team lost to the Alabama team 90–83.[58] Booker's 31 points tied Othella Harrington's 1992 performance for the most ever scored by a Mississippi player in the event.[59] Booker joined future Kentucky teammates Ulis and Lyles on the West team in the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game, while Towns suited up for the East.[60] He scored a three-point basket in each half and finished with 8 points as the West won 105–102.[61] In March, all four were selected for the Jordan Brand Classic, with Booker and Ulis on the West team and Towns and Lyles playing for the East.[62] In May, Booker participated in the South Mississippi All-Star Basketball Showcase leading the Home team with 43 points, including a three-pointer to send the game into overtime, in a 114–106 win against the Away team.[63] He was named the game's MVP.[63]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Devin Booker
G
Moss Point, Mississippi Moss Point 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Oct 31, 2013 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 93
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 28, 6 (SG)   Rivals: 29  ESPN: 18, 1 (MS), 3 (SG)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "Kentucky 2014 Basketball Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  • "2014 Kentucky Basketball Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  • "2014 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.

College career[edit]

Booker in October 2014

In Kentucky's first exhibition game against the University of Pikeville on November 2, 2014, Booker was the team's second leading scorer with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including two three-pointers; he also had three assists.[64]

After a standout 15-point, 6-rebound, 7-assist game against Boston University, Booker posted a then-season-high 18 points in a November 23 win against Montana State.[65][66] He led the team in scoring, shooting 6-of-8 from the field with 3 three-pointers.[66] In Kentucky's next game against Texas-Arlington, Booker set a new season high with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including five made three-pointers, in a 92–44 win.[67]

In 38 games for Kentucky in 2014–15, Booker averaged 10.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.[68] He subsequently earned SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and the All-SEC Second Team.[69]

On April 9, 2015, Booker declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of college eligibility. He was joined by fellow Kentucky teammates Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Professional career[edit]

Phoenix Suns (2015–present)[edit]

2015–16 season[edit]

On June 25, 2015, Booker, was selected with the thirteenth overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2015 NBA draft.[70] On July 13, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Suns,[71] and in seven subsequent Summer League games, he averaged 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He went on to make his NBA debut two days before his 19th birthday, in the Suns' season debut against the Dallas Mavericks. He became the first player in NBA history to debut at 18 years old after playing at least one year of college basketball. In 21 minutes of action against the Mavericks, he scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in a 111–95 loss.[72] While he began the season as a solid backup shooting guard off the bench throughout the early portion of the season, including starts on November 23 and December 21, a late December injury to starting guard Eric Bledsoe on December 26 against the Philadelphia 76ers led to Booker's elevation to the starting line-up for the rest of the season. Before his teammate's injury, Booker was producing averages of 5.4 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 14.1 minutes of play.[73] His production began to increase with the move and his scoring prowess became a lot more noticeable throughout the second half of the season.

"We thought he had a lot of potential. We loved his character and work ethic, his size and his shooting ability stood out. I think sometimes when you're on a team with a lot of talent like Devin was at Kentucky, all that talent can do one of two things: it can mask some of your deficiencies if you do lack in some areas. I think in Devin's case, it was the opposite of that."

Ryan McDonough, Suns GM[74]

On January 2, 2016, Booker scored a then season-high 21 points in a 142–119 loss to the Sacramento Kings.[75] Only Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant scored 20+ points more than once at a younger age than Booker.[76] With his first double-double coming from a 111–102 win on January 6 with 17 points and a season-high 10 rebounds against the Charlotte Hornets,[77] he became the fifth-youngest player in NBA history to record a double-double behind LeBron James, Andrew Bynum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and became the youngest player to ever do so in Phoenix Suns franchise history.[78] On January 19, he scored 32 points in a 97–94 loss to the Indiana Pacers, setting a Suns' rookie record with six made three-pointers. Booker became the third-youngest player in NBA history at 19 years, 81 days old to record a 30-point game, as well as the youngest Suns player to score 30 or more points in a game. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the only two players who were younger than Booker to score 30 in a game.[79] On February 10, Booker recorded his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 assists in a 112–104 loss to the Golden State Warriors.[80] On February 12, Booker scored 23 points in a close victory for Team USA in the 2016 Rising Stars Challenge.[81] The following day, he competed in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest, becoming the youngest contestant to ever participate in the event and only the fourth rookie to compete in the 30-year-old contest,[82] joining Stephen Curry (2010), Kyle Korver (2004) and Dennis Scott (1991).[83][84] He made it to the final round of the event, beating out both James Harden and J. J. Redick in a tiebreaker event after the first round, where he finished third behind the Splash Brothers – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (winner).[85]

On March 3, Booker scored a then career-high 34 points in a loss to the Miami Heat,[86] becoming the first Suns rookie since Richard Dumas in the 1992–93 season to record multiple 30+ point games for the team and the fourth-youngest player to do it in a season.[87] His third 30-point game came on March 9 against the New York Knicks, finishing with 32 points to join Walter Davis (17) and Alvan Adams (6) as the only Suns rookies with 3+ 30-point games.[88] A day later, Booker recorded his second-straight 30+ point game (third in a week and fourth overall at the time) by setting a new career-high with 35 points in a loss to the Denver Nuggets,[89] joining LeBron James as the only teenagers in NBA history with back-to-back 30+ point games.[90] On March 12, he recorded his third double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 11 assists in a 123–116 loss to the Golden State Warriors,[91] becoming the first Suns rookie with multiple points/assists double-doubles since Negele Knight (3) in the 1990–91 season.[92] He recorded his fifth 30-point game of the season (fourth in a month) on March 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.[93] Throughout the month of March, Booker led all rookies in points (22.4) and assists (4.9) per game.[94] His sixth and final 30-point game of the season came on April 5 in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks, scoring 34 points on 12-of-25 shooting.[95] On April 9, with 16 points scored in a 121–100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Booker reached 1,014 for the season, making him the fourth-youngest player to reach 1,000 career points, following only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, as well as the third-youngest during their rookie season.[96] Booker finished his rookie campaign with 1,048 points at an average of 13.8 per game. He appeared in 76 of the team's 82 games in 2015–16, a season that saw the Suns finish with the second-worst record in the West (23–59) and the second-worst record in franchise history.[97] In addition, Booker made 51 starts and averaged 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, earning him praise from fellow NBA players such as Klay Thompson, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant.[98] He finished fourth in the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year Award voting[99] and earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.[100] He became the first Suns player to be named an All-Rookie Team member (either first or second) since Amar'e Stoudemire did so in 2003.[101]

2016–17 season[edit]

During his first offseason, Booker trained with head coach Earl Watson and former NBA player Baron Davis at UCLA,[102] was invited to be on the select team that practices against Team USA in preparation for the Summer Olympics,[103] and played two games for the Suns during the Las Vegas Summer League.[104][105] With teammate Eric Bledsoe returning from injury in 2016–17, Booker was retained as the starting shooting guard while Brandon Knight was moved to the bench.[106] In the Suns' season opener on October 26, Booker scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a 113–94 loss to the Sacramento Kings.[107] With Booker playing alongside rookies Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, the Suns became the first NBA team to get three teenagers on the floor in the same game.[108] On November 4, Booker scored a career-high 38 points in a 112–111 overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[109] He bested that mark two days later, scoring 39 points in a 119–108 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.[110] He became the first Suns player to record consecutive games of 38 or more points in the regular season since Tom Chambers 28 years earlier.[111]

On January 12, 2017, Booker tied his career high with 39 points in a 113–108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City.[112] His 28 fourth-quarter points set the Suns franchise record for most points in a quarter. The record was previously held by Stephon Marbury, who had 26 in the fourth in 2002.[113] Two days later, also in Mexico City, Booker had a second straight 39-point effort in a 108–105 win over the San Antonio Spurs,[114] becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record consecutive games of 39 or more points in the regular season.[115] Later that month, he was named in the U.S. Team for the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge,[116] and was invited to take part in the 2017 Taco Bell Skills Challenge.[117] With 31 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 4, Booker became the youngest player to score at least 20 points in 16 consecutive games; Booker did it at 20 years, 97 days. His 16-game streak is the second-longest by any first-year or second-year player in the last 20 seasons—Vince Carter had a 23-game run as a second-year player during the 1999–2000 season.[118][119] His streak ended at 16 after scoring just 14 points on February 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans.[120]

"What strikes a lot of people about Devin is all the other stuff he can do -- he's really developed his ball handling, his pick and roll game, he thinks the game at a high level. But I'll be honest, we had no idea he'd be able to do this much, this quickly. Devin has done unbelievably well not just on the court but representing the franchise in the community as well. He was a bright spot for us in a difficult year."

Ryan McDonough, Suns GM[121]

On March 24, Booker became the sixth player in NBA history to score 70 points in a game, accomplishing the feat in the Suns' 130–120 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden. Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant as players to reach 70 in one game. It was the 11th 70-point game in NBA history. Booker finished 21-of-40 shooting overall, including 4-of-11 on 3-pointers, and 24-of-26 from the free throw line. He added eight rebounds and six assists in 45 minutes. Booker, 20, became the youngest player to score 70 (or even 60) points in a game. He had the highest-scoring game in the NBA since Bryant scored 81 in January 2006.[122] The Suns' previous scoring record was held by Tom Chambers—he had 60 points on March 24, 1990.[123] With 21 points against Dallas on April 9, Booker passed Kobe Bryant to move into fourth place on the NBA scoring list of players before their 21st birthday with 2,774 points, trailing only Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and leader LeBron James.[124] Booker ended the season averaging 22.1 points per game, a near 9-point increment from his 13.8 points in 2015–16.

2017–18 season[edit]

On October 28, 2017, Booker hit 11 of 19 shots and scored a then season-high 34 points in a 114–107 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns came into the match on a two-game winning streak under interim coach Jay Triano, after starting the season 0–3 under former head coach Earl Watson.[125] It was his 21st career 30+ point game, setting the third-most 30-point games in NBA history before turning 21 years old, behind only LeBron James (57) and Kevin Durant (28).[126] On November 6, he scored 18 points in a 98–92 loss to the Brooklyn Nets to reach 3,000 career points. He became the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to score 3,000 points, behind LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.[127] On November 11, he scored a season-high 35 points in a 118–110 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[128] Two days later, he had a 36-point effort in a 100–93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was his 26th career 30-point game, tying Steve Nash for 15th most in franchise history.[129] Over the Suns' first 17 games of the season, Booker had seven 30-point games. In Suns history, only Charlie Scott (8 in 1974–75) has had more 30-point performances through the team's first 17 games of a season.[130] On December 2, he scored a season-high 38 points in a 116–111 loss to the Boston Celtics.[131] He joined Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to follow up a 70-point performance with 32+ points in their next game against that same opponent.[132] Two days later, he scored 46 points in a 115–101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.[133] On December 6, he was ruled out for up to three weeks after sustaining a left adductor strain the previous night against the Toronto Raptors.[134][135] On December 26, in a 99–97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Booker scored 32 points in his return from a three-week absence before fouling out in the final minute.[136] On January 16, he had a 43-point effort in a 118–111 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.[137] It was his third career game with 40+ points, and it was the first game of 43+ points and 8+ assists by a Suns player since Stephon Marbury in February 2003.[138] On January 28, playing at the point guard position for a second straight game, Booker had 31 points and 10 assists in a 113–102 loss to the Houston Rockets.[139] Booker missed four games in early February with a left hip contusion.[140] On February 17, Booker won the Three-Point Contest over Klay Thompson and Tobias Harris in the final round after setting a new record with 28 points.[141] On February 26, he had 40 points and 10 rebounds in a 125–116 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.[142] On March 2, in a 124–116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Booker scored 39 points—his career high for a home game. At 21 years, 123 days old, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 4,000 career points—only LeBron James and Kevin Durant were younger.[143] It was also Booker's fourth straight 30-point game, thus becoming the first Suns player to score 30+ in four straight since Amar'e Stoudemire from December 20–28, 2004.[144] Booker missed the Suns' final 12 games of the season with a right hand sprain.[145][146]

2018–19 season[edit]

On July 7, 2018, Booker signed a five-year, $158 million maximum contract extension with the Suns.[147][148] On September 10, 2018, he was ruled out for six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair an injury to the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand.[149] The bothersome injury lingered for Booker throughout the end of the 2017–18 season after he jammed it in practice on March 14.[150] He recovered in time for the Suns' season opener on October 17, scoring 19 of his 35 points in the final 6:44 to lift the Suns to a 121–100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.[151] On November 8, he scored a season-high 38 points in a 116–109 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.[152] On November 14, he had 13 points and a career-high 12 assists[153] in a 116–96 win over the San Antonio Spurs.[154] On November 17, he scored 16 points and matched his career best with 12 assists in a 110–100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.[153] On November 19, he had 37 points and eight assists in a 119–114 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.[155]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2015–16 Phoenix 76 51 27.7 .423 .343 .840 2.5 2.6 .6 .3 13.8
2016–17 Phoenix 78 78 35.0 .423 .363 .832 3.2 3.4 .9 .3 22.1
2017–18 Phoenix 54 54 34.5 .432 .383 .878 4.5 4.7 .9 .3 24.9
Career 208 183 32.2 .426 .365 .849 3.3 3.5 .8 .3 19.8

College[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014–15 Kentucky 38 0 21.5 .470 .411 .828 2.0 1.1 .4 .1 10.0

Personal life[edit]

Booker is of Puerto Rican descent on his mother's side and is eligible to play for the Puerto Rican national team.[156] Booker's maternal grandfather is from Mexico.[114] Booker's younger half-sister, Mya, has microdeletion syndrome, a genetic chromosomal disorder.[157][158] Booker also has an older brother named Davon Wade.[159]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moss Point's Devin Booker honored for McDonald's All-American Game selection with special reception". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Booker, No. 18 prospect, commits to Kentucky". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "Mississippi guard Booker commits to Kentucky". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "Devin Booker Scores Franchise Record 70 Points - Phoenix Suns". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  5. ^ Meet the Cats: Kentucky's Devin Booker benefits from belief in dad
  6. ^ Devin Booker set to enter his dad's old stomping grounds at Missouri Archived January 31, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Devin Booker Bio". UKAthletics.com. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Roberts, Ben (April 28, 2013). "Junior Booker shows he can handle pressure – Shooting guard impresses Cal". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. B1.
  9. ^ a b c d e Stephenson, Creg (January 20, 2012). "Moss Point's Devin Booker has the name and the game". The Mississippi Press. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "Mexican roots run deep with the Phoenix Suns". ESPN. January 11, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  11. ^ "El novato Devin Booker aún no decide entre EU o Puerto Rico". espndeportes. March 19, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Suns draft pick Devin Booker groomed to play professionally". foxsports.com. Phoenix: Fox Sports. June 26, 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Devin’s motivation to improve his game only grew during summer visits with his father.
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External links[edit]