Basketball courts

NBA star Devin Booker reveals two basketball courts at Moss Point

MOSS POINT, Mississippi (WLOX) – Barely emerging from a summer marked by an NBA Finals appearance and an Olympic gold medal, Phoenix Suns goaltender Devin Booker spent time at Moss Point, where his career in high school flourished.

The NBA All-Star made rounds at his alma mater and other places around town, but all eyes were on Saturday morning when he made a trip to South40.

“It was supposed to be quiet and private, but it was a big deal,” Father Melvin Booker said.

Organizers say Devin’s visit to the basketball court was supposed to attract fewer than 20 people, including a film crew. However, word of his visit spread, leading to a crowd of over 50 filling the corner of Elder St. and Payne St.

Over a year ago, Booker partnered with 2K Foundations to renovate South40 Court and 2nd Street Park Court.

For the one on Elder St., Booker enlisted Mexican tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon to create the design, which honored both his high school basketball heritage and that of his father.

“It’s amazing to see the smiles on the faces of all these people that I grew up with here,” said Melvin.

The courts were both painted with the help of muralists and community volunteers, giving locals a sense of pride.

“So it was special for the community,” said Melvin.

While the designs pay homage to the Booker family, South40 Park is named after longtime local trainer Calvin “Choke” Stallworth.

“It’s an honor that people can recognize him and love him the way we did,” said his daughter Katrina Stallworth Viverette.

Coach Stallworth has spent years coaching teams in the city, aiming to get more young people into college.

“My dad had a vision and a lot of time it was through sport, through athletics,” said his son Christopher Stallworth.

And with the courts now open to play, Coach Stallworth’s family members are hopeful the community will continue their lessons to this day.

“You had to take your lesson first before playing ball,” said Viverette.

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