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Juneau fans got a chance last Sunday to see their own Carlos Boozer Jr. play when he came to Seattle

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2003

They watched him grow - in skills and in height - from a middle school phenom to a high school star to a college force.

And last Sunday, a large contingent of Juneau fans made the trip to Seattle to watch Carlos Boozer Jr. start for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boozer, a 1999 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, is playing his first season of pro basketball after being drafted out of Duke University. While the Cavs are having a tough season - they're in last place in the NBA's Eastern Conference - they did beat the Seattle SuperSonics, 87-79. Boozer played 33 minutes, scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds. He was selected to play in the league's Rookie Challenge game, to be held Feb. 8 in conjunction with the All-Star Game.

Dozens of Boozer fans - current Juneau residents, JDHS grads going to college in Seattle and others - filled the stands at KeyArena to see him play.

"It was great to see some familiar faces in the stands," Boozer said, in a statement relayed through the Cavs' front office. "It was good to have support from my hometown and see some friends I haven't seen in a couple years."

Harry Tullis worked with Boozer's dad, Carlos Sr., for two years in the local U.S. Forest Service office, and he has seen Boozer play at every level since junior high.

More pictures of Carlos in the Cavaliers vs. Sonics game

"I've watched Carlos play from junior high through high school; I saw a college game and now an NBA game," he said. "It's been pretty cool to watch the development. ... Three or four years from now, we're going to see some big numbers from him."

Kevin Casperson was an assistant coach to Boozer during his years as a Crimson Bear. Casperson now has seen five of Boozer's NBA games, and chatted with Boozer after the game.

"It was nice to talk to him after the game," Casperson said. "He's loving and really enjoying the NBA experience. ...

"To see him playing and producing - they've got that saying, 'You've come a long way, baby.' He has, and it's incredible. It's nice to see someone who has a dream attain it, and the nice thing is he hasn't really changed. He's still the same guy."

Jim and Cricket Curtain also have seen five of Boozer's NBA games - the first three of the season, the Seattle game and one in Portland last Monday. Jim Curtain said Boozer has improved his game "immeasurably" since the start of the season.

Cricket Curtain, who works in the JDHS activities office, said she's looking forward to watching Boozer for years to come.

"I think he has an incredible future," she said. "He's such a hard worker, he learned so much here under (JDHS) Coach (George) Houston ... and he has a wonderful family support system.

"The sky's the limit."




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