Trevor Booker's emergence has been the brightest spot for the Wizards this season
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Remember fourth grade? Me neither.
But current Washington Wizard Trevor Booker does.
During P.E. -- where the students were playing basketball nonetheless -- classmates of Trevor began to harass and ridicule the future NBA-er.
"They were calling me names, pushing me and stuff," recalled Booker.
The taunters were repeat offenders and young Booker had decided enough was enough. The southpaw clocked the first bully with a fist and wrestled the second antagonizer to the gym floor. Then 10-years-old, Booker discovered he had the ability to unleash his intensity when the moment called for his help.
"Luckily I didn't get into trouble. The teacher knew those kids were always picking on people. I think he was happy somebody finally stood up," said Booker.
Booker downplayed the fourth grade incident as a reason for why he's developed a reputation as a rowdy yet passionate player on the court. But his mother, Tracey Booker, begs to differ.
"Since that [fight], I've never seen him back down. Now, I don't think he has started a confrontation since then. But on the court, he can be ruthless," said momma Booker.
A few weeks ago Mrs. Booker found herself doing something she vowed her son Trevor to never to partake in.
Shortly before the Wizards hosted the Hawks on March 24, Tracey punched the words "Trevor Booker" into the Twitter.com search bar, investigating whether or not people were gossiping about her eldest boy.
Low and behold she came across my tweet:
24 Mar Kevin Jones ?
I don't agree with Trevor Booker playing on an injured foot. Hopefully he only gets around 20 minutes tonight.
#WizHawks about to tip-off.
"Of all the people I replied to, I had to reply to a news reporter," joked Tracey Booker.
Tracey and her husband Gerald raised their four boys in Whitmire, South Carolina, a town populated by less than 2,000 people. The closest grocery store, called Piggly Wiggly, is nearly 10 miles from the Booker household.
"When Trevor's friends would come and visit, they would joke, 'is your family in the witness protection program?' That's how far into the woods we live," laughed Tracey Booker.
Because the town is so tiny and because the Booker's yard stretched several football fields, Trevor became hooked on sports at an early age. At two-years-old he was shooting baskets at a fisher price hoop, by age 12 he was scoring 29 points a game in a local recreation league and by 15, he was too tall to even ride the school bus.
As of late, Tracey admitted she must dig through Twitter to try and unearth 140-character posts demeaning Trevor. The power forward from Clemson has materialized into one of Washington's most prized possessions.
Booker has started in 32 of the Wizards 50 games, is leading the team in field goal percentage (53.1) and posted seven double-digit scoring games from February 28-March 16, before a plantar fasciitis injury hobbled the surging forward.
But even beyond the stats, Booker, alongside Roger Mason Jr., has become the consummate professional linked to the Wizards organization. And without a doubt, Booker has become a fan favorite.
The 24-year-old exerts effort on the court as if the Wizards are on the cusp of a playoff berth. Diving for loose balls, delivering hard fouls and capturing crunch-time offensive rebounds have become customary symbols of Booker's tireless contributions to the Wizards. Most teams in the NBA don't have a player that can match Booker's flurry of activity on the court.
"Trevor never talks about the losing aspect as much as his friends and family do," added Tracey. "He's getting great experience and he knows things will get better for the Wizards."
Many aspects of the Wizards future are uncertain. Trevor Booker's existence as an imperative figure on the roster is not.