The Not-so-Gentle Giant

Don’t be fooled. Carey Booth is a fierce competitor.


Raegan Knobbe, Madison Seckman

Basketball was Booth’s first love, but he also loves music. He takes control of the music at practice, claiming that he “definitely has the best music taste on the team,” and doesn’t allow anyone else to play their inferior playlists. Here’s his top ten right now.

Raegan Knobbe, Editor-in-Chief

Carey Booth is probably one of the tallest people you’ve ever seen, and if you try to strike up conversation, you might also find that he is one of the quietest. But just because someone doesn’t say much, doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say.

The 6’9” junior with a 39 inch vertical is commonly perceived as a “gentle giant,” someone who is tall and strong, but has a reserved and even shy personality. But his coaches say that describing him as such is inaccurate. 

“In a way, he is misunderstood in that aspect,” assistant varsity coach Alex Schnaidt said. “He’s competitive and he wants to win, and if you see him play one-on-one in practice, he’s going after people, so I wouldn’t say he’s so gentle there.” 

Booth uses every last inch to his advantage in a game that is very much centered around physical size. He likes to pump up the crowd with flashy dunks and hang on the rim until everyone knows that he means business.

“Dunking gets the bench and the crowd excited,” Booth said. “Growing up, that’s one thing you always want to do because all the best players in the league were dunking.”

Booth has his very own NBA role model sleeping just a few doors down from him – his dad Calvin Booth. The 6’11” power forward/center was drafted by the Washington Wizards as the 35th overall pick in the second round of the 1999 draft. Calvin Booth is still a major part of the NBA, serving as the General Manager of the Denver Nuggets since 2020. 

“He gives me advice,” Booth said of how his dad helps him with basketball. “Sometimes it’s hard to agree with him, but he knows what he’s talking about.”

Booth moved to Colorado from Minnesota in eighth grade, and his dad did some investigating before their family finally settled on attending Creek.

“I actually met Carey when he was in seventh grade,” Schnaidt said. “Ryan Bowen, who’s a former Nugget, got my number and then Carey’s dad called me and wanted to know about Creek basketball.”

Booth played for the freshman team before getting moved up to varsity his sophomore year. His teammates described his quiet nature, and how it took some work to get him to open up.

“He’s really quiet,” junior point guard Trevon Chambers said. “He doesn’t talk a lot on the court or at practice or anything. He’s just really reserved, but he’ll talk to me.”

To get him talking, Chambers says he’ll bring up a previous game or something related to basketball, but senior center and Colorado College commit Asher Nofziger has a totally different approach.

“I just talk trash to him and then he will talk,” Nofziger said. “I say that I give him buckets and that he’s small.”

According to Coach Schnaidt, the game of basketball in general has helped Booth be more social.

“The fact that he has to put himself out there has done quite a bit this year,” Schnaidt said. “I think his confidence is growing and that’s helped him, and then just trying to make him smile every day is huge.” 

Booth says he isn’t actually that quiet if you really know him, but he did concede that when he’s at school he doesn’t say much.

“When I’m at home, I actually talk a lot,” Booth said, “But when I’m at school I just keep to myself and do my work.”

Booth might never be described as the life of the party, but the basketball team does regular team bonding events such as Topgolf nights or team dinners that have helped him be more social. 

“We went to Topgolf and I was very proud of Carey,” Schnaidt said. “He doesn’t golf very much and you can tell he’s a little uncomfortable, but he kept going up there and kept trying. People were laughing and having a good time with him, but he was pretty good.”

His teammates say that he can always be counted on to make an appropriately timed joke, which never fails to make them laugh.

“He doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does it’s just funny at the exact right times,” Chambers said. 

More of Booth’s personality shines through when he leans into his flashy side and goes up for a dunk.

“It is exciting when he gets up there and throws it down,” Schnaidt said. “There’s times in practice where me and the other coaches will just shake our heads at his ability to get above the rim.”

To Chambers though, he knows what Booth is physically capable of, and he is much more entertained by what comes after the dunk.

“I think the funniest part is when he’ll flex on a kid and talk trash because it’s so unexpected just because he doesn’t talk much,” Chambers said. “I know he can dunk like crazy, but it’s his reaction after that catches me off-guard.”

Basketball was Booth’s first love, but he also loves music. He takes control of the music at practice, claiming that he “definitely has the best music taste on the team,” and doesn’t allow anyone else to play their inferior playlists.

Another one of Booth’s claims is that he has the best shoe game on campus. He started collecting shoes and has an impressive amount of Jordan’s, the only shoe he wears other than Crocs or slides.

“It really started during quarantine because I was like, ‘when I come back, I’m about to have the freshest shoe game in this whole school, everyone is about to see my shoes for real,’” Booth said. 

While Booth, like any other high school athlete, has room to grow and areas of his game to improve, he has a lot of skills that his team relies on him for.

“He’s a great rebounder and an underrated passer, I think he’s got a great feel for that,” Schnaidt said.  “He hits the open guy and then, obviously, he’s a great shooter. What we’re really working on now is getting him by the rim and using his athleticism and length.”

Schnaidt admires Booth as an athlete and as a person. He stressed that Booth’s work ethic and passion will be the reason for his success, not just his height.

“He’s very kind as a person,” Schnaidt said. “As an athlete I think he’s got great potential and that’s why he’s getting accolades. But it’s his passion for the game and his work ethic that matches that. I really do think that’s why he’s going to be great one day and we’ll be watching him at a very high level.”

This article won Honorable Mention Sports Feature from CSMA. For its pages in the spring issue of the magazine, it won Second Place Facing Pages Design and Third Place Environmental Portrait.