Homecoming fit for the Sun of Moss Point: Devin Booker’s #2 Tigers jersey retired

They call him ‘the Sun of Moss Point,’ Devin Booker, who of course plays for the Phoenix Suns, but also gives the name a much deeper meaning in his hometown.

Saturday, Booker returned to the place where it all started to have his old Tigers jersey finally retired.

“2014 Moss Point High School graduate. 2014 Moss Point High School Hall of Fame, inducted. 2016 NBA rookie year, and current Phoenix Suns shooting guard. Mr. Devin Booker!”

“My experiences in that gym. It’s a place that me and my dad named The Dungeon, and we put a lot of reps in there. That’s where all the work went. Blood, sweat, tears, and I learned a lot. And like I said, I’ve taken those values and everything I learned to the big stage from a small town like this.”

The pride of Moss Point, Devin Booker will forever have a key to the city and a key to Arthur Haynes Gymnasium where his number is never to be worn again just like his father, Melvin Booker. “They didn’t have no film of him in high school, so I don’t know.”

“My jersey was up before his.”

“Yeah, my real number is 15. That was my family number. That was his number, and I couldn’t wear 15 when I got here because he had it in the rafters.”

Booker did just fine wearing number 2, although he came number two to no one else on the hardwood as the all-time leading scorer at Moss Point with more than 2,500 points during his three-year varsity career, culminating with his selection as a 2014 McDonald’s All-American.

From there, Booker was a one-and-done super freshman at Kentucky who went 38-1 that year en route to the Final Four. He was then taken 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2015 NBA Draft and is now in his eighth season as a pro, having led the Suns to the finals in 2021 with nearly 12,000 career points to his name. “(Now, if Devin Booker now played Devin Booker in high school, would Devin Booker in high school hold his own, or how would that one-on-one game go?) He wouldn’t back down. I’ll tell you that.”

Confidence, one of the many things Booker says he learned from his time in the River City where he continues to give back to the community that helped raise him, having unveiled two refurbished basketball courts last summer and now announced his plans to redo the court and locker rooms at his alma mater. “Continue to give back, that’s what I’m trying to do. This is a work town and everybody takes a lot of pride in this city and this town, and I’m one of those people that stands on the city of Moss Point.”

Joined by his entire Phoenix Suns team in between road games against the New Orleans Pelicans, Booker putting Moss Point on the map for the next generation, signing autographs, and taking pictures with the boys and girls basketball teams who suit up for that rivalry game the same way he did nearly a decade ago. Master of Ceremonies and Moss Point alum Levi Sims II said, “Devin is a light. We have dubbed him the Sun of Moss Point because he plays with the Phoenix Suns, so his basketball court says S-U-N of Moss Point. I’m telling you, he’s a youthful pillar in the community, outstanding young man, always has been, but he’s very dedicated and hard working as well.”

“People ask me, how do you get ready for those big games? How do you get ready for the playoff games? I tell them there’s nothing compared to getting ready for a Moss Point Pascagoula game.”

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