Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker was named a global Special Olympics ambassador on Thursday, an opportunity that will allow him to hold conversations with young Special Olympics athletes over social media and participate in international Special Olympic events, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews.
Booker's 18-year-old sister, Mya, has a chromosomal abnormality called microdeletion syndrome, which causes mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.
The star's close-knit relationship with his sister makes this opportunity all the more imperative:
“I am really excited about it,” Booker told Andrews in a phone interview. “I have always dibbled and dabbled in partnering with them. Being raised with my sister and the challenges she faces every day have always driven me.”
“I think the timing is perfect in giving information on how this can affect other people.”
Booker, who has worked with Special Olympics Arizona, will continue to do so under this new role. People with disabilities are even more affected by the novel coronavirus, as the pandemic has stiffer effects on those with compromised immune systems and chronic health conditions.
The Suns star has been isolated from his family, including his mom and Mya, making only occasional trips to see them:
“During this time, my sister and my mom have been totally isolated from coming to my house,” said Booker. “Every time I see them, I go to them during this time. That is a learning lesson for everybody about social distancing and how serious this situation is. Know that you're not only affecting yourself, you could affect someone else who it could be a much tougher case for.”
Family games of Uno are now completed virtually. Sorry! is played over FaceTime. Those are only a few of the hurdles Booker's family has had to overcome during this growing pandemic:
“I'm trying to be the most productive I can and see the silver lining,” he said. “There will never be a time like this — hopefully — again in our lives. I want to take advantage of this time the most I can before everything ramps up again.”
Props to the Suns star for doing what he can to help everybody he can during these trying times.