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DEVIN BOOKER AND PHOENIX SUNS CHARITIES ANNOUNCE THE 2022 DEVIN BOOKER STARTING FIVE GRANTS

Booker surprised five nonprofits with $100,000 each for the fourth consecutive year; continuing his $2.5M pledge to support the local community

Devin Booker has been turning heads with his on-court contributions this season, but it’s his off-court impact that is more meaningful to the All-NBA guard and to the community he represents. 

During Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics, Booker and Phoenix Suns Charities announced the 2022 Devin Booker Starting Five recipients, awarding five local nonprofit organizations with $100,000 grants. This marks the fourth consecutive year of the initiative, continuing Booker’s pledge announced in 2019 to donate $2.5 million to Phoenix Suns Charities to improve the lives of youth and families in need throughout Arizona.

The five nonprofit organizations – Back to School Clothing Drive, Homeward Bound, Positive Coaching Alliance Arizona, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona and The Be Kind People Project – were invited to Footprint Center for the game, unaware of the surprise that awaited them. During a first half timeout, representatives from each organization were brought on court for a contest where they were surprised with an announcement that they had been chosen as this season’s Devin Booker Starting Five grant recipients.

“It’s one of the most exciting things that I’m a part of, I’d say mostly because we’re 20 organizations in now, all non-profits here in Arizona,” said Booker following the game. “We’re still trying to find creative ways to surprise the people, and to do it here on our home court in front of everybody is a special moment.”

“This is year four now and it’s something that’s here to stay. I want to thank everybody on the Phoenix Suns Charities board, including Sarah [Krahenbuhl] running it, and my brother is on the board and they’re really passionate about these projects. They do a good job of selecting the organizations that we use. We’re just trying to level the playing field for everybody and give everybody an equal chance out here. We’ve been doing a great job of that and it’s something that we want to keep doing.”

The fourth year of the Devin Booker Starting Five is the latest iteration of Booker’s commitment to the Valley. For the past several years, in partnership with Phoenix Suns Charities, Booker has treated youth from around the Valley to holiday shopping sprees, pledged more than $100,000 in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and is a Special Olympics Global Ambassador promoting inclusion through sport, especially opportunities involving basketball.

“Devin’s contributions to the community transcend the basketball court,” said Sarah Krahenbuhl, Phoenix Suns Charities Executive Director and Vice President, Social Responsibility, Phoenix Suns. “The Devin Booker Starting Five program has positively impacted thousands of children and families across Arizona and paved the way for a brighter future for those in need. Since arriving in the Valley, giving back to this community has been a focal point for Devin and his entire family, including his brother Davon who serves on the board of directors of Phoenix Suns Charities. We could not be more grateful for Devin and his family's generosity."

Booker and Phoenix Suns Charities will release a limited-edition Devin Booker Starting Five hoodie commemorating this year’s grant recipients. Designed in collaboration with Phoenix-born artist Sentrock, the exclusive hoodies will be available for purchase at SunsCharities.org and the Team Shop at Footprint Center with proceeds benefiting Phoenix Suns Charities. Stay tuned for more details and the on-sale date.

Previous Devin Booker Starting Five Grant Recipients:

2021

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
  • Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council
  • Lights, Camera, Discover
  • Valley of the Sun YMCA

2020

  • Arizona Autism United
  • Central Arizona Shelter Services
  • Elevate Phoenix
  • GAP Ministries
  • YMCA of Southern Arizona

2019

  • Ability 360
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center
  • Special Olympics Arizona
  • UMOM New Day Centers