Devin Booker makes an impact both on and off the court – something that isn’t up for debate.
And on Monday, the All-Star guard made waves yet again, this time through his Devin Booker Starting Five program and surprising local nonprofit Lights Camera Discover with a $100,000 grant before the evening’s home game against the Spurs.
When teens from the local nonprofit were invited to Footprint Center, they were excited to meet with creatives from the Suns social media, video content and broadcast teams.
But before tip, they had one last stop.
A pregame player meet and greet to get a sample of what a pregame media availability would be like – and one that had quite the surprise when No. 1 walked in, answered their questions, and then put the cherry on top of the evening with a $100,000 grant and new cameras and laptops for the five teens in attendance.
Lights Camera Discover is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides underserved youth opportunities to develop confidence, build self-esteem, and learn teamwork by participating in a series of workshops that teach various aspects of performing and digital arts including digital filmmaking, photography, acting, screenwriting, website design and animation.
The $100,000 grant officially closes the 2021-22 class of the Devin Booker Starting Five – a $2.5 million commitment made by Booker in 2019 to grant $100,000 each to five nonprofits each season over five years. In addition to Lights Camera Discover, this year’s class included Girl Scouts Arizona-Cactus Pine Council, Big Brother Big Sisters of Arizona, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale and Valley of the Sun YMCA.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became abundantly clear how crucial technology was to stay connected and functional.
And for the Valley nonprofit, the impactful funds will enable Lights Camera Discover to establish the “Phoenix Suns Computer Lab,” investing in new computers, cameras and latest software for continuing education and provide the runway to turn imagination into opportunity.
For Kema Charles, the Executive Director and Founder of Lights Camera Discover, she was blown away from the surprise and honored to be recognized by Booker and Phoenix Suns Charities.
“That is what touches me, I love the fact that Devin is so in tune with the community and that a nonprofit like ours was on the radar. He is making sure our organization is visible and he appreciates the work we are accomplishing,” said Charles.
Booker has excelled on the court for the Suns over the past six seasons, becoming a two-time All-Star and leading his team through an exciting run to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.
But his dedication off the court has been equally, if not, more important to the city of Phoenix. For the past several years, Booker has treated youth from around The Valley to holiday shopping sprees, pledged more than $100,000 to Phoenix Suns Charities in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and is a Special Olympics Global Ambassador promoting inclusion through sport, especially opportunities involving basketball.
Whether it is getting buckets or giving back, the shooting guard has no plans on slowing down – a beautiful thing for Suns and the community to rest in.