When you're an aspiring professional athlete, having a two-time NBA All-Star as a brother may make it difficult for one to truly establish themselves as an individual talent.
But Charles Boozer (brother of Bulls' forward Carlos) says such a relation is something that he's always embraced. With the 2013 NBA D-League Draft on the horizon, however, it's time for the basketball world to find out whether or not the younger brother can hold his own.
His time is now, and Boozer is poised to make the minor league his stage to shine on.
"I think the D-League is perfect for me," the young gun said regarding his decision to declare for the draft. "I haven't played professionally for three years, so being in the D-League will push me forward to different things."
Boozer caught on with the Bulls for NBA Summer League this past July, but the transition to the pro game hasn't been the easiest for him to make. He played forward during his three years at Iowa State, but at 6'3" and 200 pounds, the point guard position would appear to be the slot in which the youngster is most likely to succeed in.
With that in mind, Boozer has worked that much harder to revamp his game, training with renown former NBA player, coach, and longtime trainer John Lucas. The 26 year old added, "John Lucas is a great motivator. He's been doing this for years. My brother was one of his players. I've definitely learned from him. He helps you see the game, and makes it simple for you. My game is much more efficient now than it's ever been, and that can be attributed to him."
"There's definitely a lot of work that goes into it," Boozer said of his position switch. "Being 6'4" and 200 pounds as a small forward in the NBA or D-League isn't very successful. But now as a point guard, I can have an immense amount of success because I'll have the opportunity to run a team. Coach Lucas did that his whole career. It's about finding your teammates, finding the open shot, and getting your ball-handling right. I did a lot of basic and repetitive ball-handling drills with Coach. It's becoming very comfortable for me, and I'm only getting better. I'm embracing the role as a point guard now."
And though Boozer's transition to rising floor general is a still relatively new one, that hasn't stopped him from getting more exposure and taking on worthwhile competition. In addition to having grown up playing with his brother and recently training with Coach Lucas, the young gun has also spent some time with one of the biggest rising superstars in all of the NBA.
"Kyrie Irving was a great educator for me," Boozer asserted. "He went to Duke and was obviously taught by the greatest coach in college basketball. He's a great guy to learn from. Kyrie taught me so much in only a week or two of being around him. I've learned how to be successful and turn out really good as a rookie. He talked to me about making the jump from college to the pro game. Kyrie is going to be an NBA All-Star for years to come -- probably one of the greatest point guards ever. For me, it was good to go up against him. I was just blessed to be there with him, so it was fun."
With a work ethic that already proves he's willing to do whatever it takes (like altering his position) to compete, Boozer should prove to be an intriguing option for any number of D-League teams come November 1st. There's no denying that the people he's choosing to surround himself with as of late point towards him being able to stand tall next to formidable talent.
Following Summer League, the Bulls (who are affiliated with the Iowa Energy) have expressed interest. Boozer also participated in an open workout with the Santa Cruz Warriors this fall, so it'll be interesting to see where he ends up.