Carlos Boozer’s game was born in Juneau, but it came alive in the NBA.
Boozer blossomed into one of the world’s elite players, earning his first NBA All-Star nod in 2007 and establishing himself as Alaska’s greatest basketball player. He worked his way to the top echelon of NBA power forwards, joining Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. The 6-foot-9 Boozer was a beast inside and resembles the grizzly bear tattooed on his left shoulder.
At Juneau-Douglas High School, Boozer was the next big thing. He helped the Crimson Bears compile a 95-12 record and win back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 1997 and 1998. He was a two-time Parade All-American and turned heads in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
At Duke University, he became an All-American and a household name. He helped the Blue Devils win the NCAA championship in 2001 before turning professional after his junior season.
For most of his early basketball career, Boozer played in the shadow of Anchorage’s Trajan Langdon. Langdon was a basketball pioneer for Alaska, becoming the state’s first prep All-American, college stud and NBA player. But the tide turned in later years with Boozer taking over the mantle as Alaska’s greatest.
Boozer wasn’t just Alaska’s best, he was its richest. In 2010, he signed a five-year deal with the Chicago Bulls worth a reported $75-80 million. He played in the NBA until 2015 and averaged 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds during a 13-year career that spanned 861 games.
– Van Williams