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The Spurs Of The Moment

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said after the conclusion of last year’s season that there wasn’t a better kid playing the game than West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler.

And how could you argue?


Butler not only made thrilling game-winning shots for the Mountaineers, but showed tremendous character off the court when he visited Agnes Channel, a life-long Mountaineer fan who suffered a heart attack while watching WVU take on Villanova. Prior to the Final Four, Butler was awarded the Lowe’s Senior Class Award for his work on the court and in the classroom.


Butler was drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. When he hadn’t fully recovered from the torn ACL injury he suffered in the Final Four, he was cut.


But as Butler explained, the support he received from the Heat didn’t stop after he was waived.


“It was a tough decision to make because Miami obviously picked me up and gave me a place to go, and in reality, not many people would have gave me a place to go and just rehab and workout,” said Butler. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Miami Heat because they did something not many others would have.”


“I’m about loyalty, [and] at the same time, they were very loyal to me.”


Butler eventually found a new home with the San Antonio Spurs on the inactive roster and is slated to play for the Spurs’ Development League affiliate, the Austin Toros while he continues to rehab his knee.


 “They [the Spurs] showed interest,” explained Butler. “They gave me things to do. They showed trust that I would be able to do things for them.


“The Spurs are a great team and they just gave me an opportunity and I jumped on it.”


Of course, Butler’s future success will be determined by how quickly he recovers from his injury.

He’s confident.

“In my head, I feel like I can do everything.”


But not blinded by it.


“I’m human, so obviously doubts and insecurities always creep in there about what can and can’t happen.”


Butler learned that while doctors have cleared him of any remaining ligament damage, he still has to endure a rigorous rehab schedule.


It’s difficult to imagine that Butler won’t get past this hurdle; he’s a competitor. It’s the reason West Virginia brought home their first Big East tournament championship last year with the help of their tournament MVP.


Jay Bilas was right about one thing: it’s hard not to pull for Da’Sean Butler, especially when you hear about the kind of person he is.


“Sooner or later, if I do what they ask me to do and work hard, I’ll get the opportunity to play, and that’s all I want: an opportunity to play.”

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