Devin Booker surprises non-profits with grants as part of 2021 Starting 5

May 12, 2021, 12:17 PM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Devin Booker and Phoenix Suns Charities on Friday invited five non-profits to take in the team’s game against the upstart New York Knicks.

During what eventually ended as a 128-105 win for the Suns was an even bigger victory for those organizations: Arizona Autism United, Central Arizona Shelter Services, the YMCA of Southern Arizona, GAP Ministries and Elevate Phoenix.

Invited and told by the team they were finalists for Booker’s Starting Five — the star guard’s most notable charitable program — those five non-profits learned through a video message that they had all, in fact, won the grants each worth $100,000.

The announcement made official the second round of funding for Booker’s Starting Five initiative.

He spoke Saturday about the experience of surprising the local charitable leaders that he decided to help out.

“They’re using the grant wisely. They’re renovating courts, adding learning spaces,” the Suns guard said. “Bunch of good groups that went through a selection process with Phoenix Suns Charities. Obviously, COVID restricted the way we could announce it and we wanted to come up with a plan: Having them at the game and finding out there in a big win was a really cool moment.

“Just another one of those feelings, there’s not really words I can describe. Always the brightest moments of my career,” Booker added. “Just seeing the reaction from the outside is a great way to do it. I think my family went up there and talked to a lot of the organizations and spent time with them. It was a special night, real special night.”

Booker pledged $2.5 million to local charities by picking five groups each year over five years.

In 2019, he announced his first starting five members: Special Olympics Arizona, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, UMOM New Day Centers and Ability 360.

character counts

Character Counts is a registered trademark of the Josephson Institute.

Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates next to guard Klay Thompson (11) durin...
Associated Press

Warriors close out Mavericks in 5 games, advance to NBA Finals

The Warriors advanced to their sixth NBA Finals in the past eight seasons by beating the Mavericks 120-110 on Thursday.
1 day ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns is fouled by Patrick Beverley #21 of the LA Clippers during the s...
Haboob Blog

ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins confronts Pat Beverley over Chris Paul criticism

Kendrick Perkins confronted Patrick Beverley about contradictions in his analysis of Suns G Chris Paul and James Harden on ESPN's First Take.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) smiles after a three pointer against the New York Knicks ...
Arizona Sports

Cam Johnson buzzer-beater, Devin Booker style up for NBA fan vote

Two Phoenix Suns are up for a vote in the 2021-22 NBA Fan Favorite awards honoring the best of the regular season.
3 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game One of the Western Conference Se...
Kellan Olson

Devin Booker earns 1st Team All-NBA, 1st Suns player to do so since 2007

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker has long been disrespected nationally but this season he has been properly recognized.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, left, reacts with head coach Monty Williams during the first hal...
Kevin Zimmerman

Report: Suns’ finale could echo Deandre Ayton-Monty Williams dynamic

As Deandre Ayton prepares to receive free agency interest, the rumor mill might tell us if Phoenix wants to match an offer.
2 days ago
Washington Commanders guard Chris Paul works during a rookie minicamp practice at the team's NFL fo...
Haboob Blog

Chris Paul or CP3? Commanders quiz their rookies

Chris Paul, Washington Commanders rookie guard, shares a name and position with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.
4 days ago
Devin Booker surprises non-profits with grants as part of 2021 Starting 5