Two-time NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer is one of the most consistent players in the league. Throughout his time with the Cavs, Jazz, Bulls, and Lakers, fans witnessed as he gave maximum effort on the court every night. But although he may have been hitting big shots and defending opponents, he says his greatest job is that of a father to three little boys. We recently spoke with Boozer to get his thoughts on fatherhood.
Father’s Day is here. How instrumental was your father during the developmental stages of your life?
Honestly, I was raised by a great man and he let me chase my dreams when I was younger. He wasn’t one of those dads that told me that I wasn’t going to do certain things, like going to the NBA. And when he found out that I wanted to go to the NBA, he sent me to every basketball camp that we could afford. He was a believer and he never shut any of my dreams down. I was lucky to have a father that supported my dreams.
You are a father of three, what are some of the things that you’ve enjoyed about fatherhood and also the lessons that you’ve learned along the way?
For me, I’ve been able to do a lot of things in my career and in my life as a 34-year-old man. But nothing is more amazing and more rewarding than being a father. Seeing my kids have success, whether in school or in sports, means more to me than anything that I’ve done individually because everything that I do now is not about me. Every time I go to the grocery store, or every time I’m in the public eye, it’s for them and I want to be an upstanding role model for them, too. I’m a Black man trying to raise three Black men, so I take my job as a father serious. And again, like my father, I support my kids’ dreams. I push education at my house, and their mom does the same thing. I just really love being a dad.
What is it like to have longevity in the NBA?
It was a dream [come true] and honor of mine. I’ve had dreams of making it to the NBA since I was about 12 years old. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship in order to go to Duke from Alaska. I was recruited by all of the top schools at that time, but Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] wanted me to come and play for him, so I did. After I won a championship in college, I got drafted by Cleveland in 2002, spent a couple of seasons there, then as a free agent I went to Utah, Chicago, and then the Lakers. I enjoyed my time in the NBA. I’m actually working out right now in order to come back and play two or three more years in the NBA before I hang it up for good.
-andre j. ellington