At 6’4” and a starting guard/wing at The Prairie School in Racine, sophomore J.C. Butler takes after his dad, NBA All-Star Caron Butler in many ways except one.
“He got arrested 15 times before the age of 15 and then he went to jail, to prison, ‘cause he was on the streets at a young age, and then he had some mentors in his life that he got back on the court and then just got to the NBA,” J.C. said of his dad
Now, J.C. at 15 years old is on his own path. While he talks to his dad every day, he only sees him about once every two months. His mom is at every game.
“She couldn't have done anything better for me because without my dad here she's just been kind of both parents for the beginning of my life and she's done a great job,” J.C. said
On Prairie, J.C. leads the team in scoring and rebounds, averaging 19 points a game and seven boards, but really there's only one number that matters.
“My mom and dad both tell me that school comes first and that I can't play basketball unless I have at least a 3.0,” he said.
J.C. is accomplishing that and while it’s not easy, like on the court, he makes it look that way.
“It almost appears effortless, that people sometimes question the effort he's playing with but I can promise you he's playing his tail off all the time,” described Head Coach Jason Atanasoff.
Coach said he wishes J.C. would “shoot the darn ball more” but that's about his only criticism.
“End line to lend line he's off the charts,” Atanasoff said. “With the ball, without the ball, his athleticism and his speed and quickness are like nothing I've seen... It's almost scary to think what he might be capable of when he's 17-18 years old.”
With the season winding down and J.C. being the selfless player he is, you can imagine his biggest concern isn't about how many points he scores on the court, but rather it's about his team and adding to the trophy case.