BOSTON -- More than 15 years before Kevin Garnett and Trevor Booker faced off on an NBA court, a young Booker attended a basketball event hosted by Garnett in South Carolina.
Too shy to approach the all-star himself, Booker asked his mother to request an autograph for her son. Garnett penned his signature on a poster which Booker would hang in his room as he began his own path to the pros.
Its somewhere in a safe place, Booker told CSNNE.com prior to Mondays Boston Celtics - Washington Wizards game. But Ive got to find it.
Growing up in the same hometown of Mauldin, Booker looked up to Garnett and participated in local tournaments he ran during the summer. Now in his second NBA season, the Wizards forward still considers it crazy to play against his childhood idol.
Everybody knew him in South Carolina just because he was so big of a player, Booker, 24, said. Its pretty crazy going against him. He was just very passionate, and he still is, so thats one of the things that I loved about him. He was definitely a big motivation.
To this day, the reserved Booker has never talked with Garnett. He is, however, continuing to relay Garnetts message of giving back to the community.
Once he entered the NBA himself, Booker decided to follow in Garnetts footsteps and organize his own basketball event in Mauldin. This summer he and Josh Howard co-hosted the Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament at Springfield Park, the same place he attended Garnetts tournaments.
That area inspired me, explained Booker. I saw him (Garnett) giving back to the community, so I said if I ever made it, that would be something that Id do. I just want them to know that I care and that I want to give back to them.