(Artwork by Sean Curate)
Jimmy Butler had a tough and rough journey before reaching his NBA dream. The odds have always been against him. He did all the things he could to reach the pinnacle of success. Now that he made it to the NBA, let’s look back from where he started.
Butler grew up without a father from an early age, Jimmy was kicked out of home by his own mother at the age of 13. Her mother’s last words to him were, “I don’t like the look of you. You gotta go.”
After moving from house to house, with no money, no parents and no support from anyone, he was eventually taken in by the Leslie family who already had 7 children of their own, but generously
opened their home and hearts to Jimmy in his senior year of high school.
Jimmy then had to contend with a high school coach and principal who didn’t believe in his abilities. This lack of faith in him, when coupled with the low profile of a small town school in Tomball, Texas, led to no college scholarships coming his way. However, he didn’t give up on his dream and enrolled at a local junior college, dominating the competition and leading to a long queue of high profile
colleges offering him scholarships the following year. He eventually chose Marquette, not for its basketball program, but its academic record. Taking the advice of his new mom, Michelle Lambert,
to make sure that he has a degree behind him in case things don’t work out.
Things worked out just fine.
Jimmy says it best, “It’s taught me that anything is possible. My whole life, people have doubted me. My mom did. People told me in high school I’m too short and not fast enough to play basketball.
They didn’t know my story. Because if they did, they’d know that anything is possible. Who would’ve
thought that a smalltown kid would become a halfway decent player in college and now has a chance to be drafted in the NBA? That’s my chip. That’s what motivates me. I know I can overcome anything if I just take everything one day at a time.”
If you have a dream, chances are there are obstacles that can stop you from achieving it. If you let them.
Don’t feel sorry for Jimmy Butler, he wouldn’t want you to.
Be inspired by his toughness and perseverance to overcome all the obstacles he has been through to develop into the player and most importantly, the man, that he has become.
At the end, Butler’s determination led him to the 2011 NBA Draft, where he was selected with pick 30 by the Chicago Bulls.
Today. Jimmy Butler has made an impact in the NBA and is already considered as one of the top athletic swingmen in the league.
Watch his career highlights from the 2015-2016 season below: