Entertainment Sports All About Devin Booker's Parents, Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez saw their son commit to the University of Kentucky, get drafted into the NBA and appear in his first All-Star Game By Francesca Gariano Francesca Gariano Contributor, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 22, 2023 03:51 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Fitzhugh/Biloxi Sun Herald/MCT/Newscom/Mega Devin Booker's parents, Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez, have been by his side through all of his career highs. Melvin and Veronica welcomed Devin on Oct. 30, 1996, in Michigan. The former couple, who never married, co-parented the NBA player throughout his childhood and adolescent years. Devin spent his childhood with his mother in Grandville, Michigan, while his father pursued professional basketball as an NBA player in the late '90s before playing abroad in Europe until 2008. After his freshman year of high school, Devin moved to Moss Point, Mississippi, to live with his father and further his basketball skills. The Phoenix Suns star reflected on his mother's decision to allow him to move away during a November 2016 interview with The Undefeated. "For a mother to just let her son move with a father I didn't spend much time with … She raised me most of my life," Devin said. "It takes a powerful woman to do that. We all had an understanding that it would be the best decision for me reaching my dreams. For her to allow it to happen is unbelievable." Though Devin did not get to spend a lot of time with Melvin when he was a child, today, he considers his father as "one of his best friends" and sees him as an inspiration for his entire career. The athlete explained, "I was fortunate enough to have a dad that was basically a blueprint for me." Here is everything to know about Devin Booker's parents, Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez. Melvin and Veronica met in the '90s Christian Petersen/Getty Melvin's basketball career brought him and Veronica together. The couple met while he was playing for the Grand Rapids Mackers, a minor league basketball team, during the 1995-1996 Continental Basketball Association season, per The Undefeated. The couple hit it off, ultimately welcoming their son, Devin, shortly into their romance. They welcomed Devin in October 1996 Devin was born on Oct. 30, 1996, in Michigan. For much of his childhood, the NBA star grew up in Grandville, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids, and spent time during the summers with his father in his hometown of Moss Point, Mississippi. Melvin is a former NBA player Elsa Hasch /Allsport/Getty While Melvin was not initially selected in the 1994 NBA draft, he made his way to the big leagues after playing for several American minor league teams. During the 1995-1996 season, he made his NBA debut for the Houston Rockets, eventually playing for the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors the following season. After his short-lived career in the NBA spanning just 32 games, he made his way overseas and played for teams in Italy, as well as Turkey and Russia. He eventually retired in 2008 after turning down an additional contract year in Italy, citing his son as the biggest reason for his return to the United States. Veronica has two other children Devin Booker Instagram Veronica, a cosmetologist, has two other children from previous relationships: Davon Wade and Mya Powell. According to his Instagram, Davon is a graduate of Western Michigan University and works as a real estate broker in Arizona. He is also on the board of directors for the Phoenix Suns Charities, which helps donate millions of dollars to Arizona organizations with a focus on basketball programs, career development, education, healthcare and recreation. Devin's younger sister Mya has 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, which is also known as DiGeorge syndrome. In April 2020, Devin was named a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. He said in a statement: "I've celebrated the accomplishments and witnessed the challenges my sister Mya has experienced as a person with intellectual disabilities. She motivates me every day, and I'm humbled to be part of Special Olympics, a global organization with a mission to help spread awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities." Melvin and Veronica were never married Melvin and Veronica have never been married to each other. The couple co-parented Devin, though Veronica had her son more often than not during his childhood due to his father's professional basketball career. In Devin's interview with The Undefeated, Melvin gave credit to Veronica for doing "a great job of keeping me connected" with Devin while his career took him overseas. "She made it happen. I owe her all the credit for allowing that to happen," he added. "Ever since he was 8 months old he was coming with me in the summertime. It was special. I was trying to make up for the times I missed when I was gone." Devin moved to Mississippi as a teenager to be with his father Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty When Devin was in high school, he made the move from Michigan down to Mississippi after his freshman year to live with his father in Mississippi. Melvin told The Undefeated that it took a lot of convincing to get his son to leave his hometown, but the decision would ultimately help him "move to that next level" in his basketball skills. The former NBA star reflected on the move during a June 2015 interview with The Guardian, telling the outlet, "I had my time in Europe, and missed a lot in Devin's life." "It wasn't just about his game; it was about being a father," he added. "It was a chance of catching up on the times that we missed together and working on his mental makeup of basketball — how to be not just on the court, off the court — to be a young man. And the move was very important in his transition into the player he is today." Devin called the move a "culture shock," explaining, "it was a big difference for me, but I adjusted well. I feel like I'm cultured enough to fit into any environment." Melvin trained his son in basketball Andy Lyons/Getty The NBA star played basketball at his father and grandfather's alma mater, Moss Point High School, where his dad was also the assistant coach. ESPN reported in June 2022 that Melvin served as his son's coach, mentor and trainer. His NBA-level training included the best dietary habits, one-on-one drills and weight-lifting routines, in addition to coaching his son in both his school and AAU leagues. Melvin told the outlet, "We were like best friends, together every day. I missed a lot of Devin's life because I was overseas, and those seasons are like 10 months long over there. So, whenever we were together, it was like catching up." Despite his initial hesitation to leave his hometown in the middle of high school, things ultimately worked out for Devin. In December 2022, he made his way back to his hometown along with his teammates from the Phoenix Suns to retire his high school jersey number. "It brought a lot of out me," Devin said, according to AZ Central. "I think there were some things within me that I had to learn and figure out, starting with confidence. That's what a lot of people go through in high school. Confidence, grit. This is a work town and everybody takes a lot of pride in this city and this town. I'm one of those people that stand on the city of Moss Point." Melvin and Veronica were with Devin when he was drafted into the NBA Devin Booker Instagram His parents were by his side for several milestone moments in his basketball career. Just two years after they joined him at his University of Kentucky signing ceremony in 2013, Melvin and Veronica witnessed their son get drafted into the NBA by the Phoenix Suns. "It brought tears to my eyes. It's hard to explain," Melvin told The Undefeated of the moment his son was drafted. "It's a feeling like no other. It's a night I will never forget." Devin reflected on following in his father's footsteps and achieving his dream of making it to the NBA, telling the outlet, "He said, 'God had a plan,' and it was for me to make it to the NBA. He is not living through me. But he said that me being drafted is better than him being drafted." Phoenix helped Devin embrace his mother's heritage Devin Booker Instagram Veronica's father immigrated from Nogales, Mexico, to Michigan. After his grandfather died, Devin was inspired to get more in touch with his family's heritage and embrace the local Valley community. He called his relationship with his grandfather "unbelievable," calling him "very supportive," per the NBA. "When I was drafted by Phoenix, I finally got to see the Hispanic culture around me for the first time in my life," Devin said in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month in October 2020. "You drive around the city, you look into the stands at the game and you see it. That made me want to learn about myself much more honestly because I just hadn't been around." Devin acknowledged that Mexican culture has been part of his life since birth and reflected on several memorable moments from his childhood. "Some of my favorite times as a child was my mom whipping up her original Mexican dishes that she learned from her father, or when we got the chance to visit my grandpa on the weekends in his city and having him cook for us," he said. "Those were the most enjoyable moments — just sitting down, family time and enjoying some really good food." Devin's family celebrated his first All-Star Weekend in 2020 When Devin made his NBA All-Star Game debut in Chicago in February 2020, he was surrounded by family to mark the occasion. His parents and younger sister, Mya, flew to Chicago to be with Devin during the weekend. The Athletic reported that throughout their time in Chicago, the family enjoyed dinners together. Melvin even got his own replica All-Star jersey, noting it was "crazy to see that 'Booker' on the back." "We all have been together," Melvin told the outlet. "We've just been taking it all in as a family, because this is what we worked so hard for … This was part of the plan when him and I started working. Everybody in the family played a role to get him to this point, and we're all close like that. We're backing him up like that, and we protect him like that."