Former Manual hoops star is a proud Peorian and an NBA league executive

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - After two years off due to COVID, The Booth Basketball Academy returned to Peoria this week at the RiverPlex. Former Manual basketball stars and brothers David and Derrick Booth hosted a free basketball camp for kids throughout the week but this one was a bit different than most for David. This was the first camp he had hosted since became an executive in the NBA’s league office.

“I did pray to God about me joining the NBA,” David said.

He had always dreamed of playing in the NBA and for a while he was on that track. He was a star in high school at Manual, leading the Rams to three straight finals in the 1980s. From there he played college ball at DePaul and became one of the school’s all-time greats but after that the dream never quite materialized. but he still found a way to get to the NBA, first becoming a scout with the Grizzlies and Pelicans, then a team executive in New Orleans and in 2020 David Booth was named the NBA’s Vice President of Basketball Operations, a different path than he expected but one for which he’s very grateful.

“I didn’t know He was gonna make me an executive versus a player but it’s been good so he’s kept his promise,” David said. “I love working in the league office versus the team side. League office, I haven’t lost a game in two years so that’s been great.”

Booth has been living his NBA dream for a few years now and for him it’s not really work but rather an opportunity to work in the game he loves

“The NBA has been good to me,” David said. “It’s been good to my family. It’s fun being around the game that you’ve always grown up watching. I always tell people, if I hit the lottery today, I would still go to work tomorrow so it’s been a blessing.”

With his job, Booth travels all over the league and is a direct link between teams and players and the league office and in his travels, he’s very proud to say that he’s a Peorian.

“Well it’s funny because everywhere I go, every airport I go to, people know about Peoria, Illinois,” David said. “I don’t have to tell them it’s Richard Pryor’s hometown anymore. I could say it’s home of Peoria Manual basketball and they know that we’re kinda the mecca here in the Midwest and so it’s fun because of that, the Sergio McClain era, our era back in the 80s when I was playing for Manual, it’s well known throughout the United States what we’ve done and the people that we’ve produced. The AJ Guytons, the Shaun Livingstons and the list goes on, so yeah, I’m very proud to be from Peoria, Illinois.”

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