Devin Booker continues to make an impact on and off the basketball court, and he’s earning the accolades to prove it. The former Cat has just been named as the November recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award, based on his efforts with his own “Booker’s Starting Five” initiative and his dedication to community service.
The NBA announced the news Thursday afternoon, and the organization provided a bit of context to what Booker is doing to help improve the lives of local children and families in Phoenix.
“Booker created the Devin Booker Starting Five to further his commitment to the Phoenix community, pledging $500,000 annually to five different youth-serving nonprofits in Arizona, and a total of $2.5 million over the course of five years. In November, he announced Special Olympics Arizona, Ability 360, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UMOM New Day Centers and Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center as members of the Starting Five. Booker invited the organizations to Talking Stick Resort Arena to surprise each of them with an initial $100,000 donation. The funding will allow the organizations to address critical areas of need, including the construction and refurbishment of facilities, expansion of family services, improved patient support and investments in research.”
An NBA Cares ambassador will officially present Booker with the award before the Suns’ game Thursday night, and the NBA and Kaiser Permanente, the award’s sponsor, will donate $10,000 on Booker’s behalf.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 11, 2019
“Giving back to the community has been a commitment of mine since the day I was drafted, and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here in Phoenix,” Booker said. “Launching the ‘Booker Starting Five’ was a dream come true for me, my greatest assist to date. I’m blessed to be in a position to make a significant impact and I can’t wait to watch this program change lives for years to come.”
John Calipari reacted to the news on Twitter, and he sure is one proud former coach.
I'm just as proud of this if not more so than when our guys win conference player of the week/month or put up big numbers. This is making an impact that changes people's lives.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) December 26, 2019
To learn more about the award and Booker’s acts of service, click here.