Bookert commits to Florida State (Basketball)

August 19, 2011
Devon Bookert

After dominating high school basketball in Alaska, Devon Bookert of Anchorage had big plans for the future.

Yet at first most of the big schools didn’t see it the same way.

So Bookert took his game on the road, making his name at national recruiting camps. He impressed college coaches enough to draw interest from big-time schools in major conferences.

However, Florida State University stood out above the rest.

The lure of playing in the mighty ACC was too great for the 6-foot-3 Player of the Year to pass up and this afternoon he verbally committed to Florida State for the 2012-13 season.

Bookert, of West High fame, was eligible to play college ball this fall but opted instead to spend the next year in prep school at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.

“I need to develop my body more and then I’ll be ready,” Bookert told me. “I think I could play at that level (now) but I want to dominate when I get there.”

He averaged 26 points per game last season and helped the West Eagles reach the Class 4A state championship game under head coach Brad Lauwers.

Bookert turned down San Diego State, Southern Cal, Oregon and Cal-Berkeley in favor of the Seminoles and their coach Leonard Hamilton.

“I just felt like I fit in with their system and how they want to run their program,” Bookert said.

He could have gone to another college, he said, and maybe even played right away. But he was willing to wait for his opportunity at Florida State and figured a year of prep school would only help him on and off the court.

“They specialize in developing people for college,” Bookert said. “I know if I can get some of that pro-level training then I’ll be a better player when I step onto the scene in the ACC.”

Bookert would become just the fifth Alaska male to play in arguably college basketball’s finest conference, joining Donny Judd (Maryland), C.J. Hooker (North Carolina), Trajan Langdon (Duke) and Carlos Boozer (Duke).

“To play Duke and North Carolina, that’s an awesome opportunity,” Bookert said.