PHOENIX SUNS

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.

Phoenix Suns

Tyler Kolek...

Arizona Sports

NBA Draft prospect, potential Suns target Tyler Kolek visits the Valley

Tyler Kolek, a guard from Marquette and potential first-rounder, has been linked to the Suns and added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday.

9 hours ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans...

Kevin Zimmerman

Bronny James rumors further attach to the Suns a week from the NBA Draft

Bronny James will reportedly work out for the Suns again. But there's a lot more noise around him and Phoenix's NBA team.

11 hours ago

Bronny James...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns to host 2nd workout with NBA Draft prospect Bronny James

The Phoenix Suns will host a second pre-draft workout with USC prospect Bronny James this week, ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony reported. 

12 hours ago

Tyler Kolek #11 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shoots a free throw in the first half of the game ag...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Is Tyler Kolek the right PG for Suns in 2024 NBA Draft?

The overarching storyline of the Phoenix Suns' offseason is they need a point guard. But is Tyler Kolek the right fit?

16 hours ago

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by P.J. Washington #25 of the D...

Kellan Olson

One big offseason question for each Suns competitor in the Western Conference

The Phoenix Suns' fellow contenders in the Western Conference all have offseason options. Here's a preview as we look to 2024-25.

21 hours ago

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum celebrates after scoring during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA ba...

Associated Press

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with Game 5 victory over Mavericks

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Mavericks to break tie with Lakers for most titles.

1 day ago

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