May 17, 2005
Booker, 30, is a 1998 graduate of the Naval Academy where he was a four-year letterwinner in basketball. Wojcik recruited Booker to play basketball for the Midshipmen.
Booker was instrumental in leading the Midshipmen to a 74-41 overall record and a 39-11 Patriot League mark. Navy totaled three league regular season titles in Booker's career and reached the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons in 1997 and 1998.
The team leader in field goal percentage and in rebounds as both a junior and senior, Booker ranks third in Navy history with a career field goal percentage of 55.4-percent, is tied for third with 61 career steals, stands ninth with 628 career rebounds and 19th with 931 career points. He earned first-team All-Patriot League honors in both 1997 and '98, and was selected as the league tournament MVP in 1997. Despite standing just 6'3", Booker was the leading force inside for a team that led the nation in rebounding margin once and finished 10th twice.
As a junior, he was named the Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player, as he averaged 17.5 points and 11 rebounds in Navy's tournament victories over Lafayette and Bucknell. He shot 65 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line in those two games as he led Navy into the NCAA Tournament.
In his senior campaign, Booker led Navy back to the NCAA Tournament against No. 1 North Carolina as he averaged 12 points and 7.8 rebounds per game that season. He was named the winner of the Basketball Hall of Fame's Chip Hilton Award, which recognizes the college basketball player who has demonstrated personal character both on and off the court similar to the fictional Chip Hilton character depicted by Hall of Fame coach Clair Bee in the classic Chip Hilton Sports Series.
"Hassan and I have had a long-standing relationship. He was one of the first kids I recruited to the Naval Academy who was a difference maker. He's a hard worker, overachiever, played at a high level and is a winner," said Wojcik. "As a player, he was similar to the type of undersized post players that have been so productive in the past at Tulsa."
"He's an accomplished leader with seven years of experience in the Navy. He's a guy that our players can definitely look up to and respect. Anyone that can lead 50-60 enlisted men at a young age, like he did, can certainly make a difference with the young men in our basketball program," added Wojcik.
A surface warfare officer, Booker first deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship the USS Ogden, then served as the auxiliaries officer aboard the destroyer USS Vandergrift from December of 2001 through May of 2003. The Vandergrift conducted escort operations for the career battle and amphibious readiness and logistical support groups during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Individually, Booker was a member of the eight-person VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) Teams that visited potential Iraqi contacts of interest and potential terrorists being smuggled around the Persian Gulf.
A lieutenant, Booker has been assigned to the Naval Academy since the summer of 2003 and teaches advanced navigation in the professional development department. He has also been a member of the Naval Academy's women's basketball coaching staff the past two seasons.
"This is a great opportunity for me considering my level of experience. I'm excited about coming to Tulsa and helping bring Tulsa basketball back to prominence once again," said Booker. "My basketball knowledge I learned from Coach Wojcik, so I believe it will be a smooth transition for me."
"Coach Wojcik recruited me out of high school, and he's one major reason I went to the Naval Academy. I received a great education and had the ability to play college basketball. We had great success as a team, and I had some success as an undersized power forward who he coached," added Booker. "I'm excited about the opportunity to coach the power forwards here at Tulsa."
Booker is a native of Los Angeles, California.
Hassan Booker was named as an assistant basketball coach to complete the coaching staff for first-year coach Doug Wojcik.