Devin Booker's Dad: Melvin Booker
Most, if not all, NBA fans know who Devin Booker is. Booker has been a 2x All-Star, was selected to the All-Rookie First Team (2016), won a three-point contest (2016) and Gold at the 2020 Olympics, and is the youngest player to record 70 points in one game! However, did you know that Booker's dad, Melvin Booker, also played in the NBA?
Melvin Booker was a 6'1" Point Guard that entered the 1994 NBA Draft. Although he went undrafted, he would still play 32 games in the NBA. Besides playing in the NBA, Booker also played in the Continental Basketball Association and various European basketball leagues.
Interestingly, the father-son duo, Melvin and Devin Booker, have played against Kobe Bryant. The context between each matchup is extremely interesting. Melvin only played one game against Kobe, and it was on April 8th, 1997, Kobe's first season in the NBA. On the other hand, although Devin played against the Lakers four times, he would also only play one game against Kobe on March 23rd, 2016, and this happened to be Kobe's last season in the NBA.
The Missouri Tigers (1990-94)
Melvin Booker joined the Missouri Tigers (University of Missouri) in the 1990-91 NCAA season. Booker was immediately assigned an important role, starting as the team's point guard. Even though Booker only averaged 8/2/4 (points, rebounds, assists) while shooting 43.4% from the field and 34.5% from the three-point line, the rest of the guards combined didn't even score as many points as Booker:
Reggie Smith: 2.4 Points
Jed Frost: 2.1 Points
Lamont Fraizer: 1.7 Points
John Burns: 0.9 Points
Booker played alongside other future NBA players, Doug Smith and Anthony Peeler, during his freshman season. Although Smith was the best player amongst the three, Peeler had the best NBA career, playing 12 seasons in the NBA.
Although the Tigers would go 20-10 (66.7 W/L%), ranking fourth in the Big Eight Conference, they would win the Conference Tournament. In the second round, the Tigers would upset the first-seeded Oklahoma State, winning in 2OT, 94-92. In the third (and final) round, they would beat the second-stated Nebraska State, 90-82. Unfortunately, since the Tigers were fourth, they couldn't participate in the NCAA Tournament.
Booker would have a slight improvement in the following season (1991-92). He averaged 12/4/4 while shooting 47.5% from the field and a career-high 43.5% from the three-point line. In addition, Booker also averaged a steal, and his free-throw percentage went from 67.1% to 76.8%. His improvement is no surprise since he got an additional five minutes of playing time in his sophomore season.
As for the Tigers, they would improve my one game, 21-9 (57.1 W/L%), and would finish as the third seed in the Big Eight Conference. They did not win the Conference Tournament this season but were selected to the NCAA Tournament. However, the Tigers would fall in the second round against the Seton Hall Pirates, 71-88.
Melvin Booker underperformed in the NCAA Tournament. Every single statistical category was lower than his regular-season stats. In the two games he played, he averaged:
8.5 Points, 3.5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 0.5 Steals
45.5 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 83.3 FT%
Booker would improve again in his third season (1992-93). He averaged around the same number of assists, rebounds, and steals, but his points went up to 16. His field-goal shooting went down o 43.9%, and his three-point shooting went to 36.2%. The only shooting stat that went up w