Not even his best effort is good enough for Devon Bookert of Anchorage. His expectations are sky high.
“I don’t think I’ve played a complete game,” he told me. “I want to.”
If anybody could shoot for the stars and make it, though, Bookert is your guy.
The sophomore standout at Florida State University is arguably the best shooter in the ACC after being the only player in the conference who earned extended playing time to shoot at least 50 percent on 3s and 80 percent on free throws last season.
Already this year he’s been recognized with the best point guards in the country by virtue of his selection to the 2014 Bob Cousy Award watch list.
Recently, at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, he pumped in a career-high 18 points against the nation’s 10th-ranked team one night and then sank the winning jump to beat the buzzer two nights later.
“I don’t think it was my best stretch at all,” Bookert said. “Everyone wants to be a great player, so you have to do the things along the way.”
He said the only thing he remembers about the trip was the fact Florida State didn’t win the tournament. Perfection is winning.
Bookert, of West High fame, is winning over fans for Alaska basketball. He is just the third Alaskan to start for an ACC team, joining Anchorage’s Trajan Langdon and Juneau’s Carlos Boozer of Duke University.
Both those guys made it to the NBA. That’s where Bookert dreams of playing one day as well.
“It’s definitely a good goal to have and ultimately that’s where I want to be. That’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid,” Bookert said. “That would be the greatest thing for me.”
Bookert is averaging 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in eight games this season. He is shooting 46 percent from the floor and 81 percent from the line.
Turns out, though, basketball has been the easy part of college. His classes have been more challenging than opposing ballhandlers.
“Your grades are way more important than you think,” Bookert said. “When you get to college it’s so hard to organize everything. You make sure you go to classes on time and finish assignments on time. It’s important to develop good life skills.”