Devin Booker Announces ‘Starting Five’ to Receive Donations from Phoenix Suns Charities
After Devin Booker signed his five-year, $158 million extension with the Phoenix Suns in 2018, he knew he wanted to give back to the city in a big way. This week, the budding All-Star moved closer to that goal by naming the five organizations to which he will be donating through Phoenix Suns Charities.
The "Devin Booker Starting Five” includes Special Olympics Arizona, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, UMOM New Day Centers and Ability360. Each of those organizations will receive $100,000 per year for the next five years—matching the duration of Devin’s extension and totaling $2.5 million.
“It’s very important to me when I signed my contract, I wanted to be involved not only with the organization, but with the community also,” Devin said in a video announcing the donations on social media. “A way for me to be more involved in this community is the 'Booker Starting Five.'"
Devin invited each of the recipients to Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix to present him with a final pitch, only to find out that they had all been selected. He also surprised them with commemorative framed jerseys.
Those organizations all have plans to put the funds towards different projects. Special Olympics Arizona will build its own athletic training facility. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will funnel it to research and support for cancer patients. The Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center will use the money for its Community School, which assists children with autism in developing their social skills. The UMOM New Day Centers will expand their services for homeless people. And Ability360 will allocate its funding to remodel its gym to better suit those with disabilities who are living in its facilities.
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.