NBA Star Carlos Boozer: A Diabetes Advocate Jumps Through Hoops for Motivation and Inspiration
One of the rewarding things about our involvement with Dribble to Stop Diabetes is all of the committed campaign ambassadors, who have personal connections to diabetes, with whom we get to work. Carlos Boozer is an ambassador who helps promote diabetes awareness and the benefits of staying active and being healthy. Like our other ambassadors, the cause is a personal one for Carlos, as people in his family have been affected by diabetes.
“My grandma passed away from complications of diabetes, and now my aunt also has diabetes,” Carlos said. “So when the NBA approached me to get involved with Dribble to Stop Diabetes, I jumped at the chance to raise awareness for diabetes. My goal is to try to help people. Some of the most important things are working out, eating right and trying to manage your diet and exercise. That all goes a long way for all of us, but especially those living with diabetes.”
As a part of the campaign, Carlos recently visited some kids at the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois. “We gave the kids encouragement to keep fighting the fight, which is a big deal,” he explained. “We want to let people know that there’s hope. Sometimes kids have a disease, get overwhelmed and think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. I try to give them that light.”
In addition to his work as a campaign ambassador, Carlos also loves working with kids at his basketball camps. “I just love doing camps for kids, trying to give back, teaching them a couple of different things and the importance of staying healthy,” Carlos said. “I use basketball to tutor the kids. The camps help keep them in a healthy, controlled environment where they can stay off the streets, have fun and stay in shape.”
But it’s not all dribbling drills and running laps. Carlos wants his camps to be fun for the kids, too. “We have great coaches that work with us,” he said. “It’s really fun. We give great awards, like who hustled the most and who was the most enthusiastic. It’s not all about who the best player was.”
Carlos also shares inspirational thoughts with the kids. “I tell them to listen to their parents, and listen to those who are going to help you,” he said. “All adults have had hurdles along the way in different parts of their lives. Don’t let those hurdles stop you. Let them motivate you and fuel you to achieve greatness. I try to let them know that if a small kid from Alaska can make it to his dream, then they can make it to their dream too.”
Outside of his basketball training, Carlos loves playing baseball, football and soccer, especially with his three little boys. His wife, a cross-country and track athlete, also keeps him moving when they go running together. Living in Miami during the off-season, he also spends a lot of time in the pool and recently started biking.
Among all his successes, Carlos mostly wants to make his mark as a good person who helps other people. “I think the basketball part of my life is amazing and a blessing, but I just want to be a great husband to my wife,” he said. “I want to be a great father to my kids, a great brother to my siblings and a great son to my parents. I think that’s something that we should all strive for. No matter what you do in life, you should always try to help other people.”
Thanks to Carlos for sharing his story and his personal connection to diabetes. His work with kids, as well as the messages he shares, are inspiring. They’re lucky to have such an active role model in their lives and we’re lucky to have him advocating for diabetes awareness.
All the best,
Disclosures: Carlos Boozer is a paid Campaign Ambassador for Dribble to Stop Diabetes. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewee, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.
The Dribble to Stop Diabetes campaign is a Sanofi US Diabetes partnership with the NBA, NBA D-League, WNBA and the American Diabetes Association.