Chicago Bulls star uses Deerfield platform to fight diabetes
Carlos Boozer about his involvement with diabetes awareness and participation in Dribble to Stop Diabetes at the Berto Center in Deerfield. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
For more information: DribbleToStopDiabetes.com
Updated: October 23, 2012 9:06PM
DEERFIELD — When the National Basketball Association approached Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer about participating in its diabetes awareness campaign, Boozer said he couldn’t wait to be a part of it.
“My grandmother passed away this past summer from diabetes, and my aunt has it now,” Boozer said Thursday at the Bulls practice facility in Deerfield. “She had been battling it for half her life.”
Boozer reported that his aunt has been aggressively managing her diabetes.
“She’s fighting it very well,” Boozer said. “She exercises, eats very well and takes her insulin.”
When it comes to diabetes statistics across America, Boozer called it nothing less than scary.
“There are 25 million adults who have it now,” Boozer said. “We just want to help people out and raise awareness.”
The Dribble to Stop Diabetes awareness campaign involves the NBA, WNBA, the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi USA.
Boozer pointed to a series of questions at www.DribbleToStopDiabetes.com that can help people recognize their risk factors for the disease.
“Not knowing puts you at a disadvantage,” Boozer said.
When it comes to prevention, Boozer said his best advice is to start moving.
“Exercise,” Boozer said. “And I’m not talking crazy like running the Chicago Marathon. You just need to walk, or swim if you like being in the pool. They have spin classes at gyms now where you can go and just bike with other people, bump with crazy music and go wild in spin class.”
In his own home, Boozer said he is proactive in keeping his children healthy.
“My kids are in soccer now,” Boozer said of his six-year-old and five-year-old twin sons. “I’ve gotten some nice footwork.”
Boozer said a story from a friend, about an obese child, hit him hard.
“I have a friend in Miami who is a bus driver, and he told me he picked up a six-year-old kid who was 180 pounds,” Boozer said. “He offered to go running with the kid to try to help him, and he did for a few days.”
Boozer said childhood obesity is an epidemic that greatly increases children’s risk for diabetes.
“As parents, I think we’re more responsible, because we feed our kids,” Boozer said. “We can do a better job paying attention to their eating habits and exercising habits.”
On the subject of basketball, Boozer said this season will be a challenge, but that he is excited about it.
“Being without Derrick (Rose) gives us the biggest challenge,” said Boozer, referencing the star’s knee injury.
But he added that the team is excited about the challenge.
A big improvement from last year, Boozer said, is actually having a full training camp. Last season’s training camp was sacrificed due to a collective bargaining dispute.
“We’re all in great shape and working our butts off,” Boozer said. “If we can go into the playoffs healthy and with Derrick, we may be one of the scariest teams to play against.”