Devin Booker might only be 18 years old, but he's quickly built a reputation as an idol for children, especially those in the Moss Point community and among the Kentucky basketball faithful.
On Friday, the Phoenix Suns guard put his celebrity to good use by speaking to students at Magnolia Middle School in Moss Point, Miss., about sacrifice, hard work and never being satisfied.
"My dad made sure I did my school work before I hit the basketball court," Devin Booker told the kids in attendance.
Booker rolled into the Magnolia Middle School gym on a Mini Segway on Friday, serving as a reminder of his own youth. He won't turn 19 until Oct. 30, which falls in the opening week of the NBA season.
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Booker was the 13th overall selection by the Suns in the NBA Draft in June, providing another step in what has been a meteoric rise.
In the span of five years, Booker has gone from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Moss Point, to the University of Kentucky for one year and now Phoenix.
Friday's event was an early example of Booker's plans to give back to the community "in all of my hometowns."
"I've always going to come back to (Moss Point) and give back to this city because I live this city," Booker said to applause and adoring screams.
Friday's event was just another commitment in what has been a busy summer schedule for Booker.
He competed in the NBA Summer League, helping the Suns reach the title game of the Las Vegas tournament in July.
"It's gone really well, really busy," Booker said of his summer. "I'm blessed to be in this position. It's the opportunity I've wanted my whole life. I left college to reach my dreams, but I'm not done yet."
Booker, who averaged 15.3 points a game during the summer league, said the reality of the NBA hasn't quite sunk in for the 6-foot-6 shooting guard.
"It probably won't until I step into an official game," Booker said. "The summer league was kind of reality, but it wasn't the real roster so I didn't have a full glimpse of the NBA. Once I step out there with LeBron (James) and (Kevin Durant) it's going to be unreal."
Booker said he's still getting to know Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, who was also an NBA sharpshooter.
"He's been calling me a few times and texting me a lot," Booker said. "With him being a great shooter, I think we'll get along."
The Suns are situated in the always difficult Western Conference, where a 39-43 record wasn't good enough to qualify for the playoffs last season.
Booker is confident that the Suns made the right moves in the offseason to get above .500 and reach the postseason.
"They were in the playoffs two years ago and they were a few games out this year," Booker said. "I believe the adjustments made with (signing center Tyson Chandler) and drafting me, I think we'll be in pretty good shape."
Booker is trying to keep his goals simple going into year one with the Suns.
"I just want to make the playoffs," he said. "Winning is important. I have other goals, but winning is very important."