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Carlos Boozer’s game was born in Juneau, but it came alive in the NBA.
Boozer has blossomed into one of the world’s elite players on the planet’s greatest hoops stage, earning his first NBA All-Star nod in 2007 and establishing himself as Alaska’s greatest basketball player. He has worked his way to the top echelon of NBA power forwards, joining Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. The 6-foot-9 Boozer is 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 career 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 2002 before turning professional after his junior season, leaving as the school’s No. 1 and the ACC’s No. 3 all-time leader in shooting percentage (63.1).
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 recent years with Boozer taking over the mantle as Alaska’s greatest.
Boozer isn’t just our best, he’s the richest. In 2004, Boozer became a $68 million dollar man when he signed a six-year deal with the Utah Jazz. He responded by leading the Jazz into the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 10 years.
– Van Williams
photo courtesy of NBA Photos
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