Carlos Boozer thinks about his hometown a lot around now.
As the calendar flips to June, and the temperatures outside his Florida abode rise above 80 degrees, the Alaska basketball icon puts his mind to preparing for his annual basketball camp in Juneau.
It’s been well over a year since Boozer retired from professional basketball, and not a day goes by he isn’t doing something related to the game. He teaches at camps, serves as an NBA TV analyst and plays in the 3-on-3 summer league “BIG3.”
“I mean, I love it, I’ve been doing this since I was 4 years old,” Boozer said by phone on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s been a part of my life since I can remember and it’s been so good to me, to be honest. Basketball has taken me all over the world, I’ve been to two different Olympics, I’ve played on four different NBA teams, I got a chance to go to Duke University and learn from Coach K and a plethora of phenomenal professors.”
The “Carlos Boozer Basketball Camp” will be headlined by Boozer and former NBA teammate Nate Robinson on Aug. 5-9 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé and Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. The camp, which will also be led by professional coach and trainer Doug Plumb of Canada, is open to ages 5-18.
Boozer’s friends Jack McClinton, a businessman, and Johnny “Dribble 2 Much” Stephene, an elite dribbling trainer, will speak during the week. Boozer said he intentionally invited peers to the camp like McClinton and Stephene who come from different basketball backgrounds.
“One of the positives of my camp is you hear different peoples’ stories and how they stay connected to the game even if they didn’t make it to the pros and have a long NBA career like me and Nate did,” Boozer said. “Those are huge positive things and also giving kids hope that even if you want to do something else with your life, like you want to be a sportswriter or a commentator — which is what I’m doing right now after basketball — or if you want to be a teacher, just give everything you got to it.”
Boozer said he wants to continue to build the camp up to attract more campers from the Lower 48.
“If I got some kids that came from California or Oregon or kids that have never been to Alaska before, they get to come to the camp from 9-3, and then at 3 o’clock they get to explore Juneau,” Boozer said. “Go on a whale watch, go hiking, go up the tram and see the view, go have king crab, go have salmon, go have seafood.”
Boozer said 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Boozer’s Buddies Foundation, which helps youth that have been diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and leukemia. Boozer’s oldest son, Carmani, battled the disease when he was born.
To register for the camp, go to www.carlosboozerbasketballcamp.com.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.