This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That's Trevor Booker's favorite cereal.
Like many NBA players or people in general Booker developed eating habits growing up, a taste for something unique. For the new Utah Jazz power forward, it was cereal of all kinds, around 20 bowls a week.
With that in mind, as a way of introducing himself to the community, what better way to do so than holding a cereal drive called "Booker's breakfast assist"? That's exactly what he did this past Saturday.
"It's something that I've always liked," Booker said. "It was something that I always enjoyed when I was young, no matter what time of day."
Booker spent that morning trading photos for donors' cereal boxes. More importantly for him, he spent the morning at Smith's market in West Jordan shaking hands and telling the public a bit about himself.
The event turned out to be a big success. The fan base donated over 100 boxes of cereal. Smith's donated 145 gallons of milk. Booker himself brought 45 boxes of cereal from his own stash.
The goal for Booker is to raise awareness for hunger through his nonprofit foundation that will launch at the beginning of 2015. He and his publicist Christopher Brown have expressed the desire to take the program national.
"I think it's very important to do stuff like this," Booker said. "I think it's important to let the fans know how much we appreciate them, and I want to do whatever I can from the community."
Utah's biggest free agent signing this summer hasn't even played so much as a preseason game. Yet he's done whatever possible to take in the Jazz culture. He and his family moved to Salt Lake almost immediately. He's been a fixture at the practice facility, firing up shots and trying to find different ways to expand his perimeter game.
He's worked out with the rest of the team in Santa Barbara, Calif. Two weeks before training camp starts, he and most of the Jazz are in SLC for good, lifting, running and playing pick-up games.
Last Saturday night, Booker watched the Floyd Mayweather fight with new Jazzmen Carrick Felix and Rodney Hood. The goal is simply to develop a chemistry before the season starts, instead of trying to do so on the fly.
"He's worked diligently at doing the little things that we want our players to do," Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey said. "He's really brought into what we want to do, and we are really excited at how he's embraced the community and the team."
Before free agency began, Lindsey spoke of adding what he called a young veteran, meaning someone on their second contract, but a few years away from entering his prime.
The 26-year-old Booker certainly qualifies as that. He's expected to come in and be one of the first front court substitutes off the bench, someone who can even play major minutes when called upon.
For a Jazz team that's one of the youngest in the league, Booker provides a guy who has playoff experience, having been a cog in the Washington Wizards' engine that last spring advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In playing style, he will remind many of a young Paul Millsap. Undersized at 6-foot-7, but with the energy and athleticism making up for what he lacks in height.
"I've worked hard on being able to do more," Booker said. "The main thing is being able to make the corner 3-pointer. Being a threat from the perimeter is big for me this season."
The effort to shoot the ball from distance vibes with Quin Snyder's expected style of play, which will require his power forwards to be threats away from the basket.
But more than anything, the Jazz brought Booker in the fold for his toughness. He can be an enforcer in the paint, someone whom the crowd at EnergySolutions Arena can feed off. The lunchpail guy NBA fans identify with.
And one with the love of cereal, at all times of day.
Trevor Booker file
Vitals • Age 26, 6-foot-7, 240 pounds
From • Newberry, S.C.
College • Clemson
Last season • Reserve forward for the Washington Wizards team that made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals.