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Devin Booker's Mexican heritage uniting Valley, making Latinos proud

Posted at 7:36 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 18:28:10-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns' number one player Devin Booker is an inspiration to many people, but here in the Valley of the Sun, Booker has added a special moment of pride to the Latino community.

“We’re proud of him and knowing that he’s also of the same heritage, Mexicano, you add some extra cheering,” said Elena Beltran.

The cheering can be heard throughout the Valley in English and Spanish.

“It's Los Suns for a reason, right? Los Suns,” said Richard Valdes from Phoenix.

Valdes says he’s a diehard Suns fan, so finding out about Devin Booker’s Mexican roots made him hopeful.

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“I knew that he was going to take us far.”

Other Latinos dream of bringing Booker home for dinner to introduce him to their most favorite Mexican dishes.

“I would definitely, my mom’s rice, her sopa, cheese, and the tortillas, that's all you need,” said Elena Beltran.

There’s so much to learn about the Mexican culture, but Devin Booker says it’s never too late.

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“My Mexican culture has taught me a lot about myself. It’s something that’s not too late to learn because, at the end of the day, this is what makes up me,” said Booker.

His maternal grandfather was born in Mexico but migrated to Michigan.

“Some of my favorite times as a child was my mom whipping up, you know, original Mexican dishes that she learned from her father or when we got the chance to visit my grandpa on the weekend.”

But Booker says it was here in Phoenix where he first experienced the Mexican culture.

“Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you don't get as much of it, besides the time that I spent with my grandpa and my mother, what she's passed down to us. But living around it and the culture and getting to see it day to day is a lot better. Being able to touch those types of communities in this area makes all this that much better,” said Booker.

The Latino community says they will stand behind him.

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“The Suns just in general, the whole Valley is behind the Suns,” said Beltran.