NBA star Devin Booker continues to inspire Moss Point youth

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:22 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - With Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Finals in the books, Devin Booker is one step closer to leading his team to the promised land, the Phoenix Suns’ first title in franchise history.

In front of Suns faithful, Booker notched a team-high 31 points, six assists and five rebounds, adding to an already stellar postseason stat sheet.

As the 24-year-old continues to form into an NBA superstar, he promotes his hometown in Mississippi in the process.

“You wouldn’t think someone coming from a small town like Moss Point would be out there like that,” high school junior Julian Glaude said. “It feels amazing. He did it.”

After being born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Booker moved to the River City to be with his father, Melvin “Scooter” Booker. With his father’s professional basketball experience, Devin rose in popularity across South Mississippi as he played at Moss Point High School.

The attention caught the eye of Armond Harvey, who watched Devin’s games and practices as a kid.

“Seeing him get in his shots everyday, working on his shots, working on his dribbling, working on his moves,” Harvey said. “It was inspiring.”

Harvey is now entering into his senior year as a power forward, looking to fill Booker’s shoes.

“I try to put in the work that I imagine he put in,” he said. “You know, all the stuff that he did, making all the shots that he could, spending all the extra time in the gym that he could get.”

That’s the same sentiment that Harvey’s teammate Kiki Ford Jr. has when reflecting on Booker’s high school legacy.

“A lot of folks think that coming to Moss Point, there’s not a bright future ahead of you, but that’s not the case,” Ford said.

The former Tiger serves as a role model for the next generation, both on and off the court.

“He’s very modest, very humble. And I feel like I would be able to do it that way too,” high school senior Victoria Broughton.

Broughton is entering her final year at Moss Point High as a shooting guard and she’s looking to improve on the recent success the Lady Tigers basketball team has seen. The squad has been to the 4A State Final Four for three straight years.

“I aspire to do it how Devin does it,” she said. “We have to keep up the legacy and we have to keep up the hard work.”

As the girls team prepares for a deep season run, they hope to bring a banner to the school after Booker potentially wins a championship for Phoenix.

“They are going to make the connection and be like, ‘Wow that’s a good place to be,’” said senior shooting guard Raven Lee. “Everywhere we go, we try to be a good representation of Moss Point.”

And as the Finals continue, fans wonder about the impact a NBA title would have on the Gulf coast city.

“It would send Moss Point on a whole new level,” Glaude said.

Game 3 is set for Sunday at 7 p.m.

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