Keeping Score

Sports Illustrated: Devin Booker will be Coast’s next Olympian

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker listens as the results of the NBA basketball draft lottery are announced on May 17 in New York.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker listens as the results of the NBA basketball draft lottery are announced on May 17 in New York. Associated Press

We're four years away from the 2020 Olympic Games, but Sports Illustrated already sees one Coast native with a shot at making a run for gold in Tokyo.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated recently projected a 12-member USA men's basketball squad for 2020 and former Moss Point star Devin Booker made the list. Golliver described the 6-foot-6 guard for the Phoenix Suns as “A smooth-shooting teenager who projects nicely as a floor-spacer/playmaker at the two spot for Team USA.”

Booker, 19, helped his case for 2020 by landing a spot this summer on the USA Basketball Select Team, which scrimmaged with the main USA squad in preparation for the Olympics.

Booker, who played at Kentucky in 2014-15, was impressive in a short stint with Suns' summer league squad after averaging 13.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a rookie during the 2015-16 season. Those numbers were good enough to put him on the NBA's All-Rookie Team. He was the Suns' first representative since Amare Stoudemire in 2003.

Booker’s ability to hit the 3-pointer makes him ideal for the international game.

“If he continues his ahead-of-the-curve developmental arc, the 2015 lottery pick has a chance to be a USAB mainstay,” Golliver wrote.

Booker was a three-time Sun Herald Player of the Year at Moss Point, finishing his three-year career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,518 points.

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