Advertisement

NBA star Devin Booker unveils two basketball courts in Moss Point

Fresh off of a summer that featured an NBA Finals appearance and an Olympic gold medal run, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker spent some time back in Moss Point.
Published: Aug. 28, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Fresh off of a summer that featured an NBA Finals appearance and an Olympic gold medal run, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker spent time in Moss Point, where his high school career blossomed.

The NBA All-Star made rounds at his alma mater and other places around the city, but all eyes were on Saturday morning when he made a trip to South40.

“It was supposed to be quiet and intimate, but it was a big deal,” father Melvin Booker said.

Organizers say Devin’s visit to the basketball court was supposed to attract fewer than 20 people, including a film crew. However, word got out about his visit, leading to a crowd of more than 50 people filling the corner of Elder St. and Payne St.

More than a year ago, Booker partnered with 2K Foundations to renovate the South40 court and the court at 2nd Street Park.

For the one on Elder St., Booker tapped Mexican tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon to create the design, which honored both his and his father’s high school basketball legacy.

“It’s amazing to see the smiles on all these people’s faces that I grew up with out here,” Melvin said.

The courts were both painted with the help of muralists and community volunteers, giving a sense of pride to those in the area.

“So it was special for the community,” Melvin said.

While the designs pay homage to the Booker family, the park in South40 is named after a longtime local coach, Calvin “Choke” Stallworth.

“It’s an honor that people can recognize him and love him like we have,” daughter Katrina Stallworth Viverette said.

Coach Stallworth spent years coaching teams in the city, with a focus of getting more youth into college.

“My father had a vision and a lot of time it was through sports, through athletics,” son Christopher Stallworth said.

And with the courts now open for play, Coach Stallworth’s family members hope the community continues his lessons to this day.

“You had to get your lesson first before you play ball,” Viverette said.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.