Where are they now?: Caron Butler
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08
With the NBA playoffs heating up, there are a handful of former UConn players still playing. One of them is Caron Butler, who is playing the small forward position for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Born in Racine, Wis., Butler experienced a troubled childhood, as he was arrested 15 times before the age of 15 for drug dealing. However, he managed to find the silver lining when he began playing basketball at the detention center.
Butler attended Washington Park High School in Racine briefly and played a few years there before transferring to Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine, becoming a star prep school recruit. After a meeting with Jim Calhoun, Butler accepted a scholarship and came to UConn.
As a freshman in the 2000-2001 season, Butler led the Huskies in both scoring and rebounding with 15.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. While UConn wasn’t selected to be in the NCAA tournament that year, Butler managed to put up a spectacular sophomore season to put the Huskies back in title contention in 2002 when he averaged 20.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. He carried the Huskies to both Big East regular season and tournament titles that year and a trip to the Elite Eight before losing to Maryland. Butler was also named co-Big East Player of the Year and a second-team All-American.
Following the season, Butler made the difficult decision to declare for the 2002 NBA Draft at a press conference where he was noticeably emotional and tearful about leaving the school. A few months later, the Miami Heat selected Butler with the 10th pick in the first round.
After two years in Miami, Butler was included in the blockbuster trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers to South Beach. However, Butler spent only a year in L.A. before getting traded to the Washington Wizards, where spent four-and-a-half seasons.
During the 2009-2010 season, Butler was traded again, this time to the Dallas Mavericks. He made solid contributions with about 15 points per game during his one-and-a-half seasons there, but suffered a knee injury in January of 2011, requiring a surgery that forced him to miss the entire year. The Mavericks went on and pulled off the upset over the Miami Heat in the finals that season and awarded Butler with a championship ring of his own. He’s since played as a Clipper.
Outside of basketball, Butler owns six Burger King restaurants across the country after taking business management classes at Duke University in 2010. Butler also married Andrea Pink in 2005. The two currently reside in Centreville, Va. with their three children, Mia, Camary and Caron Jr.