Carlos Boozer, who starred at Juneau-Douglas before finding the national basketball spotlight at Duke and in the NBA, has been named to the National High School Hall of Fame.
Boozer enters in the 2023 class with fellow basketball star Tamika Catchings, girls wrestling trailblazer Clarissa Chun and track and field sensation Maranda Brownson.
In Boozer’s four years on the team, Juneau-Douglas High posted a 95-12 record and the Crimson Bears won two state titles, in 1997 and 1998.
He averaged 28 points and 14 rebounds as a senior, garnering the attention of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who recruited Boozer to play for the Blue Devils, where he helped the team to the 2001 NCAA title.
Current Juneau-Douglas coach Robert Casperson was a senior during Boozer’s freshman year on the Crimson Bears. Boozer was only 13 when the season started but still made an impact.
“You could tell pretty early on that he was going to be something special,” Casperson said. “He held his own against the upperclassmen. I wouldn’t say he dominated in that sense as such a young kid, but he absolutely held his own. And he had a lot of length to him and just a real natural nose for the ball and a great touch around the basket.”
Boozer was named all-state three times and was honored as Gatorade Player of the Year and Parade All-American twice each. He scored 22 points and added 11 rebounds in the McDonald’s All-American Game following his senior year. He is a member of the Alaska High School Hall of Fame and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, and has his jersey retired at Juneau-Douglas.
“He was a really good teammate as a young kid,” Casperson said. “He had a lot of success when he was pretty young through middle school hoops and stuff. People were paying attention to him, but he was super humble and super easygoing. Just a super nice kid.”
Casperson said Boozer and his parents still keep in touch with friends in Juneau, and Boozer has returned to Alaska to host basketball camps.
“He really still considers Juneau home,” he said. “He stays in touch. That idea of family is really there and he definitely cares about his community.”
Boozer also earned a pair of Olympic medals, including a gold in 2008. He played 13 NBA seasons and was twice named an all-star.
Bettye Davis East head coach Chuck Martin guided teams at Colony and Wasilla that played against Boozer, as well as other future college and NBA stars Trajan Langdon and Mario Chalmers.
“They really mean something to high school basketball in Alaska because of where they ended up,” Martin said. “The loyalty they showed to their towns and their schools of never leaving says a lot about them and should also be a good message for kids up here.”
Boozer’s name has been in the news the past week, as his son Cameron Boozer was named 2023 Gatorade National Player of the Year. Cameron Boozer, 15, attended and played for Christopher Columbus High School, a private Catholic school in Miami.
Boozer, Catchings, Chun and Brownson will be joined by eight other coaches, teachers, administrators and officials to make up the 2023 class. The group will be inducted as the 40th National High School Hall of Fame class on July 1 during a ceremony at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Seattle.
Daily News sports reporter Josh Reed contributed.