‘Always give back’: Boozer returns for second annual b-ball clinic

‘Always give back’: Boozer returns for second annual b-ball clinic

Ex-NBA star’s basketball camp an extension of family values

The camp hadn’t officially begun on Tuesday morning but already the Juneau-Douglas High School gym was roaring.

But the relentless drumming of basketballs from 150 youth crowding the court seemed to have no effect on Carlos Boozer, who stood off to the side and calmly greeted whoever approached him.

The former NBA power forward returned to his hometown this week for the second annual Carlos Boozer Basketball Camp. The clinic, which goes through Friday, attracted approximately 170 campers between the ages of 5 and 18, some of whom got first look at a professional basketball player on Monday morning. Three-time NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson also made the trip. NBA trainer Doug Plumb and over a dozen high school coaches and alumni are also helping out.

Boozer said his basketball journey — which included an NCAA championship, two Olympic medals and two appearances on the NBA all-star team — was far from a solo endeavor and one of the reasons he’s giving back.

“Sometimes it takes a village and for me, it took a village,” Boozer said Tuesday morning at camp. “I had great parents, I had great sisters who would babysit my younger siblings so my mom and my dad could take me to basketball camps. It took a village.”

Boozer’s mom, Renee, was on hand Tuesday morning. Renee, who raised Boozer and four other children in Juneau between 1988 and 2000, is proud of the work her son is doing.

“We always talked about having a family and teaching the kids the truth,” Renee, 63, said. “Teaching them to grow up to be good citizens and you always give back. You don’t want to be mean to people, you always want to be helpful and I think raising him like that plus he was one of five children, so he had to learn to share.”

Some kids, in awe of who’s sharing the court with them, couldn’t wait to share their experience at the dinner table.

Levi Traxler attended the camp last year and convinced his older sister, Riley, to come this year.

“It’s kind of funny because Carlos is super tall and my little brother grew like four inches this past year and so he’s like, ‘I’m going to be just like Carlos!’” Riley, 13, said.

Aedon Dumag, 17, felt lucky to be at a basketball camp, let alone one teeming with NBA talent. Dumag plays for Sitka High School in the winter but doesn’t get much time on the hardwood this time of year. Instead, he’s in a seafood processing plant, sometimes 85 hours a week. But when Dumag’s aunt won a free camp ticket, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Dumag, who stands about 5-feet-9 inches, said it was a surreal experience to meet an ex-NBA player like Robinson who was no taller than he was.

“One of the coaches, I forgot his name, his goal was not to get dunked on to Nate Robinson during this camp,” Dumag said. “So I kind of hope he fails in that goal just because I want to see Nate dunk on him. It’d be really cool.”


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


‘Always give back’: Boozer returns for second annual b-ball clinic
‘Always give back’: Boozer returns for second annual b-ball clinic

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

Most Read