Devin Booker has been playing for the Phoenix Suns since his professional basketball career began back in 2015. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 30, 1996, the shooting guard was raised by two loving parents with interesting backgrounds. Here’s the inside scoop on Devin Booker’s parents, Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez.
Who Are Devin Booker’s Parents?
It’s obvious where Devin gets his natural talents from — his father was a pro basketball player! Melvin Booker was a star point guard for the University of Missouri in the 1990s. While he was never drafted into the NBA, he played seasons for the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets, and the Golden State Warriors. He also played for the now-defunct Grand Rapids Mackers during the 1995 to 1996 Continental Basketball Association season and spent more than a decade playing for professional leagues in Europe and Asia.
Devin’s mom, Veronica Gutierrez, is a cosmetologist of Mexican-American and Puerto Rican descent. She met Melvin Booker when he was in her hometown of Grand Rapids playing for the Mackers. While Devin is tight with both of his parents, he seems especially close to his mom, whom he posts about frequently on Instagram.
Devin Booker Is Proud Of His Mexican American Heritage
Devin spent the first half of his life growing up with his mom in the Grand Rapids suburb of Grandville, where he was mostly removed from his Mexican-American heritage. In fact, the 24-year-old pro says he didn’t really have an opportunity to embrace his roots until he started playing for the Suns.
“When I was drafted by Phoenix, I finally got to see the Hispanic culture around me for the first time in my life,” he told NBA.com in 2020. “You drive around the city, you look into the stands at the game and you see it. That made me want to learn about myself much more honestly because I just hadn’t been around. Being here in Phoenix has made me aware of living in the culture.”
Devin also says he’s a big believer in family values, which is one of the things he loves about Mexican culture. “My favorite part about being Mexican is the culture and being a part of the heritage,” he told NBA.com. “Every day has been a learning process for me. With family being the most important thing to me, it’s also very embraced in the Mexican culture. That’s something that’s been with me in my blood since birth.”
Devin Booker’s Father Helped Pave His Path To The NBA
When Devin was a sophomore in high school, he moved from Michigan to Mississippi to live full-time with his dad, who had retired as a pro player, returned to the U.S., and taken a job as an assistant basketball coach in Moss Point. Eager to embark on a basketball career of his own, it was the perfect opportunity for Devin to learn the ropes from a former pro.
“I had an opportunity for another [European] pro contract, but I decided it was best to concentrate on my son,” Melvin Booker explained in a 2012 interview. “I had a great career and lot of years over in Europe, but I was really excited for my adventure outside of [playing] basketball. And the biggest part of that was getting Devin prepared for college.”
Which is exactly what happened. With the guidance and encouragement of his dad, Devin became a star player at Moss Point High School. He then spent a year playing for the University of Kentucky before being drafted by the NBA at the age of 19.
While his dad ultimately ended up training him for the game, Devin also has his mom to thank for making it possible for his basketball career dreams to come true. “That’s part of the reason I grind so much,” he said in a 2016 interview with The Undefeated. “For a mother to just let her son move with a father I didn’t spend much time with … She raised me most of my life. It takes a powerful woman to do that. 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.”
His Parents Have Also Never Gotten Married
Devin Booker’s parents never married. While they raised their son jointly, Melvin Booker spent much of Devin’s early childhood abroad playing basketball. So Devin would would spend the school year living with his mom in Grand Rapids and then visit with his dad during the summer.
Melvin says he’s extremely grateful to Devin’s mom for agreeing to the unconventional arrangement to accommodate his travel schedule. “She made it happen. I owe her all the credit for allowing that to happen,” Melvin said of Veronica Gutierrez in a 2016 interview with The Undefeated. “Ever since [Devin] 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.”
While both of Devin’s parents had to make sacrifices for their son, it’s clear their dedication has paid off!