From homeless to NBA Star:The Jimmy Butler Story

Early Life
“I don’t like the look of you.” “You better go.”, was the last thing Jimmy Butler rememebered his mom saying to him.Jimmy Butler at the age of thirteen was kicked out of the house with no family to take him in,no money,and no food,He had nothing.Jimmy did everything he could to stay alive,and would stay at friends house for weeks,and then he’d move on.It was devastating,very devastating,until Jimmy found basketball to save his life.

Basketball Gives Jimmy a New Opportunity
When Jimmy’s Senior season arrived,Jimmy’s recruitment started to pick up.No big time schools,but none of the top schools were after him.As it turned out,he met a Freshman,named Jordan Leslie,from the same city he was from,Tomball,Texas.After a Summer League game Jimmy challenged him to a three point contest.After that,the two became great friends as Jimmy became a regular at the Leslie household.Michelle Lambert,Leslie’s mom, who was unsure of the situation because she already had four kids,and money was tight.Jimmy was considered trouble,but that was only because he didn’t have money,or food,or any place to stay.The family agreed to let him stay,but it was only for one and two nights at time,and each kid got excited when it was Jimmy’s night to stay with them.The family,eventually, agreed to keep him full time.

A New Family
The family began to accept Jimmy as one of their own.He was expierencing what I real high school teenager should go through.Jimmy’s new mom,though,expected Jimmy to be a role model saying:I told him my kids look up to him.He had to stay out of trouble. Work hard in school. Set an example.And you know what?Jimmy did it.Anything I asked him to do he did it without asking questions.” Jimmy went on to have an amazing Senior season averaging 19.9 points per game,and 8.7 rebounds per game.Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his new family,and his mom in particular:“They accepted me into their family, and it wasn’t because of basketball. She was just very loving. She just did stuff like that. I couldn’t believe it.”

Jimmy’s feel good story was falling short
Despite his amazing Senior season,he didn’t gain any interest from Division One schools other than Mississippi State.He wasn’t on any scouts radar’s mainly because he didn’t play AAU ball.This didn’t get to him,as he enrolled at Tyler Junior College just down the road.He scored 34 points in his first conference game,and scored thirty and forty points some games during the season.

His fantastic season earned him honorable mention JUCO All-American and coaches all around the country began to take notice. The fantastic play gained offers from Kentucky, Clemson, Mississippi State, and Iowa State.

Jimmy now had a mom to go to for guidance and help him with this tough decision. Michelle played a key role in his decision to attend Marquette.

Here’s what Jimmy’s mom had to say about Marquette:“He had a lot of offer, but I was impressed by Marquette for academic reasons. That’s a great academic school. I told him he should go there because basketball may not work out long-term.He needed a good education and a degree to fall back on.”

With his mother’s guidance and help, Butler decided to opt for Marquette, but things got off to a rough start. Butler was accustomed to being the main guy, and a leader, but this was not the case at Marquette.

During his sophomore season, he was relegated to a role in which he found himself coming off the bench. This didn’t sit well with him. Often times, Jimmy wanted to leave and go home. Buzz Williams had this to say on Jimmy.

“I’ve never been harder on a player than I’ve been on Jimmy. I was ruthless on him because he didn’t know how good he could be. He’d been told his whole life he wasn’t good enough. What I was seeing was a guy who could impact our team in so many ways.

Jimmy averaged just 5.6 points in only 19.6 minutes of play that season for Marquette. He did not let that break him down as he continued to thrive and never give up, because that’s what he was accustomed to doing.

By the time Jimmy’s senior season came he was a solid contributor to the Golden Eagles averaging 15.7 points. He could rebound, handle the rock, pass, and play defense. His game resembled his personality off the court.

The 2011 NBA Draft came and Jimmy Butler was made the 30th pick overall by the Chicago Bulls. His hard work had finally paid off. He’s now considered a fantastic player in the NBA and there are no signs of him slowing down.

Butler went from homeless to NBA star in a matter of years. When asked about his childhood during the NBA Draft process he had this to say:

“Please, I know you’re going to write something. I’m just Asking you, don’t write it in a way that makes people feel sorry for me. I hate that. There’s nothing to feel sorry about it. I love what happened to me. It made me who I am. I’m grateful for the challenges I’ve faced. Please, don’t make them feel sorry for me.”

“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 small-town 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.”

Jimmy Butler’s story is amazing.He’s now a 6’7 superstar in the NBA.He was traded from the Bulls,the team that drafted him,to the Minnesota Timberwolves.Jimmy starts a new chapter in his life.If he takes it a day at a time I know he can do it.Check out the article where I got my information at

By Carter Huff

Please enjoy all of my content :) <3-Carter.

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