Even during the heart of the NBA offseason while most players return to their hometowns and take a step back from basketball, Devin Booker can still found showing his commitment to the city of Phoenix and impacting the local community.
Booker teamed up with ProCamps to host 360 kids for his second annual Devin Booker Basketball ProCamp this past weekend. The two-day camp featured fundamental skill stations, hands-on coaching with Booker and his staff, high-energy basketball contests and games for all skill levels.
After the success of his inaugural camp last summer, Booker knew he wanted to make it a yearly tradition.
“After my first one last year, the best compliments I can get were parents coming up to me and kids coming up to me with a smile on their face and saying, ‘your camp was amazing,” Booker said. “I know, I’ve been in their shoes before. I took a lot of things that I still use now, today, from the camps for me growing up. Just trying to pass on the information to them and make sure they have fun at the same time.”
ProCamps Co-Founder and Chairman Gregg Darbyshire met Booker during his college days at the University of Kentucky after the two partnered together with similar charity work with Head Coach John Calipari. While ProCamps assists in powering up the event, Darbyshire gives all the credit of the weekend’s success to Booker.
“For these kids to look up to a guy like Devin, he’s such a great role model,” Darbyshire said. “Great family, work ethic. To be able to spend two days, and these guys don’t have much offseason anymore, to come out here and impact the kids that he is, I think speaks the world of him and his family.”
The sold-out camp was open to children from first grade to 12th grade to participate in a positive and engaging basketball environment. It even showcased some of the campers stepping up to the challenge of facing the Suns star one-on-one. While Booker showed-off some of his hops and elite shooting ability in these challenges, it was more important to him to make it a memorable experience for all those in attendance.
“The kids here are just happy,” Booker said. “I remember this age. You’re learning the game and having fun with it at the same time. It’s very exciting to see.”
Teammate Jalen Lecque joined Booker at his camp for one of his first local events since being signed by the Suns. After going to camps himself as a kid, Lecque was able to give the children a similar experience of his own, knowing the lasting memories it can create.
“It’s just a great opportunity to be here with D. Book,” Lecque said. “It’s just great to see kids that are in the same position I was when I was younger and just helping them along. I did a lot of camps like this when I was six, seven. So, it was a great opportunity.”
The Suns showed their commitment to Booker by signing him to a maximum contract last summer and Booker has returned the favor to not only the team, but the entire city of Phoenix. Through working with Valley youth at camps such as his own to donating $2.5 million to Phoenix Suns Charities, Booker has reciprocated that same commitment and dedication back to the city that supports him.