NBA stars are far from a novelty for Cameron Boozer, but having five-time NBA All-Star Kevin Love present him with the Gatorade National Boys Player of the Year award still took the sophomore guard by surprise.
“I really wasn’t expecting him to walk in the door and when I saw him with that trophy, I was just like I didn’t even know what to say or what to feel, but it was awesome,” Boozer said.
Boozer, a 6-foot-9 guard at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, is the son of Carlos Boozer, a two-time NBA All-Star and 2001 national champion with Duke.
As the No. 1 player in the class of 2025, he averaged 21.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game this past season en route to leading the Explorers to their second straight Class 7A state championship. He was also named the Miami Herald Athlete of the Year and a semifinalist for the Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year.
After receiving the award, Boozer posed with family and teammates -- including his twin brother, Cayden, who checks off both boxes. Cayden, a top-25 recruit himself, played a major role in helping their team finish the season ninth in MaxPreps High School rankings.
Still only 15 years old, the Boozer brothers have garnered the attention of every college coach in the country. Together, they’ve picked up offers from Miami (Fl.), Arkansas and their dad’s alma mater. Cameron also has offers from Michigan and Florida State.
“It means a lot for me and my family, my team. It’s an honor. It's a big deal, a national award at such a young age,” he said. “I feel like it shows how much work everyone’s put in on and off the court.”
Love, the 2009 Gatorade Athlete of the Year, commended Boozer’s skill set so early in his career.
“Growing into his body, even at 15 years old, the way he runs the floor,” Love said. “The way he continues to put pressure on the rim, take what the defense gives him, handles the ball. Just impacts the ball in so many ways.”
Love, who recently joined Miami Heat after reaching a buyout agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers, never played alongside Carlos Boozer, but their careers certainly intersected.
The older Boozer was drafted by the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent the first eight years of his career in Cleveland and Utah before being traded to the Chicago Bulls in 2014, where he averaged 15.5 points in four seasons. He wrapped up his NBA career after one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, before playing a year and a half in the Chinese Basketball Association and retiring in 2017.
Cameron Boozer understands the tendency to compare how he and his dad -- who is also 6-foot-9 -- play, but he insists he is a more versatile player.
“I feel like I could do more of everything,” Boozer said. “I can play the guard, I can do whatever you need me to do out there. So I think you compare our games in some ways but we’re very different players.”
While their styles of play differ, Boozer shares a common goal with his dad.
“Win a national championship and play for a gold medal.”
As a sophomore playing under Mike Krzyzewski, Carlos Boozer came off the bench in the 2001 national championship game to record a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Duke went on to beat Arizona State 82-72. Seven years later, he won gold with Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.
Love views Boozer’s support system as an asset as he continues to develop his game.
“Continue to chase championships, chase team goals and everything else will fall into place,” Love advised the 15-year-old. “It’s pretty obvious he has great people around him that are giving him great advice, especially at home, but also you can tell that his teammates love him, as well.”
While he’s seemingly reached the peak not even halfway through his high school career, Boozer insists he still “can improve on basically every realm of the game.”
“I’m not a complete player. I’m not a finished product,” he said. “... Still young and still have a lot of time, as well.”