Sports

Moss Point's Devin Booker named to NBA All-Rookie Team

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the third quarter during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Phoenix. The Jazz defeated the Suns 98-89. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the third quarter during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Phoenix. The Jazz defeated the Suns 98-89. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) AP

At every stop along his young career, Devin Booker has stood out.

The former three-time Sun Herald Player of the Year was a star at Moss Point High before moving on to powerhouse Kentucky. He made Big Blue have big dreams during his one year at UK as he helped the Wildcats chase immortality with an undefeated season and national title aspirations that came up short.

Only a year into his professional career, Booker, who the Suns selected 13th overall, is well on his way towards becoming a star.

Thursday, Booker was named to the NBA's All-Rookie Team. The sweet shooter averaged 13.8 points on 42.3 percent shooting in 27.7 minutes per game.

His 13.8 ppg are the most in Suns history since Michael Finley averaged 15 ppg in 1995-96.

Early in the year, Booker had to find his way a bit with the Suns as he was more of a reserve. As several players were placed on the disabled list, Booker got his shot and made the most of it.

In the 51 games after Christmas, Booker averaged 17.9 points and 3.5 assists, ranking second in both categories among rookies.

In scoring 1,048 points, Booker, 19, became the fourth youngest player in NBA history to eclipse 1,000 points. The others: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Not bad company.

Voters took noticed of his outstanding rookie campaign.

Booker finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting and received all-first team votes from 103 of 130 voters.

Booker is the first Mississippi high school product to be a first-team all-rookie selection since Quitman's Antonio McDyess following the 1995-96 season.

Other highlights of Booker's rookie season include:

-- Six 30-point games: Most by a rookie since Blake Griffin in 2010-11.

-- 14 consecutive games with a made 3-pointer: Most by a Suns rookie in franchise history

-- On March 12, Booker became the second-youngest player in NBA history with a game of at least 11 assists

-- James and Booker are the only teenagers in NBA history with back-to-back 30-point games

-- Seventh Suns player to appear in NBA All-Star Weekend's 3-Point Competition

-- Scored 23 points on 9 of 13 shooting in the NBA All-Star Weekend's BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge

Rounding out the team

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns and New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis were unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team.

Both players received all 130 first-team votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada.

Towns was the Rookie of the Year and led all rookies in scoring (18.3 points per game) and rebounding (10.5 per game). Porzingis was third among rookies in scoring (14.3), second in rebounding (7.3) and first in blocks (1.86). He was the first Knicks rookie to score at least 1,000 points in a season since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.

Joining Towns and Porzingis on the first team were Booker, the Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic and the Philadelphia 76ers' Jahlil Okafor.

Miami's Justise Winslow, the Lakers' D'Angelo Russell, Denver's Emmanuel Mudiay, Indiana's Myles Turner and Sacramento's Willie Cauley-Stein were on the All-Rookie second team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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