Devin Armani Booker was born on October 30, 1996, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father, Melvin Booker, was a basketball star as well, and met Booker’s mother, Victoria Gutiérrez, when he was playing with the Grand Rapids Hoops in the CBA in the mid-1990s. The Phoenix Suns star spent the majority of his childhood with his mother and two half-siblings but is close with his whole family.
Here’s what you need to know about Devin Booker’s family:
1. Devin Booker’s Father Is Melvin Booker, a Former Basketball Star Who Played Overseas
Booker’s father, Melvin Booker, was a basketball star as well and was a top talent in high school, averaging 28 points as a senior at Moss Point High in Mississippi. The point guard attended the University of Missouri and was the Big Eight Conference Player of the Year in 1994, his senior year, according to Andscape.
Despite Melvin Booker’s talent, he was undrafted at the 1994 NBA draft, with his height of 6’2″ likely held against him. “My draft night was one of the worst nights ever,” Melvin Booker told the publication. “I was with my family back home. I felt like and thought I would be drafted. It’s unheard of for a player of the year in his conference and a second-team All-American to go undrafted for reasons I don’t even know today.”
Instead, Booker’s father played in the minor leagues for a few different teams. He played a few dozen NBA games in his career, a handful for the Houston Rockets in the 1995-96 season, as well as with the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors in the 1996-97 season. Afterward, Melvin Booker spent just over 10 years playing overseas in Italy, Turkey and Russia.
However, the distance due to his career made it hard for Melvin Booker to be close to his son, who was living with his mother in Michigan. “It was tough,” the younger Booker told Andscape. “The only real time with communication I had with him were the two to three months out of the year when I would go down to Mississippi [in the summer]. It was hard for me to understand then why we couldn’t communicate so much.”
Luckily, the father and son are very close today, thanks in large part to Booker going to live with his father in his hometown for the majority of his high school years. His dad is now one of his closest friends, he told Andscape, and said, “As a father, he’d do anything I wanted to do. He’d play video games with me. Everything we did was competitive.”
When Booker was drafted into the NBA, Melvin Booker said he got really emotional. “It means a lot to me. I am a very proud father and I know my son is living his dream,” he told the publication. The Suns star added, “He is not living through me. But he said that me being drafted is better than him being drafted.”
2. Devin Booker Lived Mostly With His Mother, Victoria Gutiérrez, When He Was Younger
Booker’s mother is Victoria Gutiérrez, a cosmetologist. Booker has two half-siblings from his mother’s other relationships and the four of them grew up together in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Booker’s maternal grandfather, Jesus Gutiérrez, was born and raised in Mexico. He had a large family with 15 brothers and sisters and lived in Los Nogales in Nuevo Leon, northeast Mexico, but eventually settled in Michigan.
“He was just a really caring guy,” Booker described his grandfather to the Athletic. “He always helped my mom out when she was in need, which was really important for me. She just always talked about his character and how loving he was, and just how he was the backbone of the family.”
Booker has really been focused on exploring his Mexican roots, especially since moving to Phoenix, which has a big Hispanic population. “My Mexican culture has taught me a lot about myself,” he told ABC15. “It’s something that’s not too late to learn because, at the end of the day, this is what makes up me.” He said he didn’t really experience Mexican culture growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, except for visits to his grandfather’s home or when his mother would cook some Mexican dishes for her children.
Booker’s parents were both focused on co-parenting the future NBA star. Melvin Booker praised his son’s mother for doing “a great job of keeping me connected” while he spent seasons overseas. He said she also allowed their son to spend the offseasons with him. “She made it happen. I owe her all the credit for allowing that to happen,” he told Andscape. “Ever since he was 8 months old he was coming with me in the summertime. It was special. I was trying to make up for the times I missed when I was gone.”
Gutiérrez is really proud of her son’s accomplishments but said it was hard to explain how proud she really was. “Most of the time with breaking records and such, he leaves me speechless,” she told the Athletic. “This sounds so cliché, but it really hasn’t set in with me. It’s very surreal. At the end of the day, he’s my thoughtful, caring, giving, lovable, funny, charming son.”
3. Devin Booker Moved to Mississippi to Live With His Father for Most of His High School Years So His Father Could Help Train Him
Booker moved from his mother’s home in Grandville, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids, to live with his father in Moss Point, Mississippi, ahead of his sophomore year in high school. Melvin Booker became the assistant basketball coach at Moss Point High School after he retired from playing and wanted to build his relationship with his son and also train him as a basketball player.
The move was hard on both Booker and his mother. Gutiérrez shared, “Letting Devin leave Michigan was by far the hardest decision of my life. I still have mixed feelings about it,” she told the Athletic. “Division I colleges were already pursuing him. Since Melvin was playing basketball overseas most of his life, the one-on-one that he got with his father was good for him.”
Melvin Booker said it was a big adjustment for his son, who grew up in a predominantly white suburb, to move to a mostly Black city and high school. “I remember dropping him off at school that day and staying about an hour to make sure he had his classes scheduled correct,” Booker Sr. told Andscape. “So I came to pick him up after school and the first thing he said was, ‘I don’t know about this, dad.’”
Booker agreed with that, sharing that he didn’t like his new life at first and called his mother after his first day of school. He told her he might return to Michigan sooner than expected, and she told him it was his decision. However, after giving it some time, Booker said things completely shifted and he “fell in love with the city.” He added that he was grateful his father pushed so hard for the move because it improved his life and was “one of the best decisions” in his life.
The Suns star said his mother’s sacrifice in allowing him to move away to live with his father is an inspiration to him. “It takes a powerful woman to do that,” he shared. “We all had an understanding that it would be the best decision for me reaching my dreams. For her to allow it to happen is unbelievable.”
4. Devin Booker Has an Older Brother, Davon Wade, Who Moved to Phoenix With Booker After He Was Drafted
Booker has an older half-brother on his mother’s side, Davon Wade, and the two are very close. Wade is three years older than Booker but they often played basketball together. “[Devin] was just so big and nobody could really guard him,” Wade told NBA.com. “He’d attack the rack.”
Wade recalled that a lot of doubters about Booker’s move to Mississippi, telling the publication, “People were telling him that he was going to get eaten alive because he was up playing with the suburban kids in our neighborhood. Then he went down there and played in the inner city schools and they’re like, ‘We’re going to press him and he won’t be able to do anything.’ He ends up being a McDonalds All-American.”
Wade attended Western Michigan University and obtained a business administration degree. When Booker was drafted by the Suns in the 2015 draft, Wade moved with his younger brother to Phoenix. He still lives there, where he works as a real estate agent, his realtor profile states. Wade is also on the Board of Directors of Phoenix Suns Charities.
5. Devin Booker Has a Younger Sister, Mya Powell, & He Said She Changed Their Whole Family’s Lives
Booker also has a younger half-sister on his mother’s side, Mya Powell. The three children grew up together and played games in their backyard, and often Powell would stand to the side and cheer for her brothers, Sports Illustrated reported.
Around the time that the boys left Grand Rapids, with Booker off to live with his father and Wade going to college, the family learned that Powell has Microdeletion syndrome, a genetic chromosomal disorder, the publication wrote in 2016. At the time, they shared that she has the emotional intelligence of a 7-year-old.
Booker is really close with his sister, who is one of his biggest fans. He said that when she got to middle school, she told her entire P.E. class before they played basketball that her brother was better than everyone. The three siblings remained very close and will often play sports, board games or video games. “[Mya’s] always saying, ‘I’m your little sister, shouldn’t you let me win?’” Booker recounted with a grin. “But I don’t let her win at anything.”
“She’s our everything,” he told Sports Illustrated. “She changed all our lives. She changed them for the better. There’s no one in the world who brings more joy to me or to our family.” In fact, he told the NBA in a video feature that having his sister supporting him has made all the difference and said he wasn’t sure he would be where he is today without her.