Caron Butler has been very open about his upbringing — in high school in Racine, Wisconsin, he was a drug dealer. He spent time in jail as a teenager and was caught in the middle of all kinds of violence. He ultimately carved out a long, successful NBA career (he’s now with the Kings) and became known for his charitable work. He’s still a staple in the community in his hometown, although now he’s seen as a success story that kids can look up to, not as a casualty of gang culture.
On October 7, Butler is going to release an autobiography called Tuff Juice: My Journey From the Streets to the NBA. Here’s the description from the publisher:
Two-time All-Star and thirteen-year NBA veteran Caron Butler has an impressive basketball record. He was Big East Co-Player of the Year at UConn, the 10th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft and a key player for the Dallas Mavericks in their championship-winning season in 2011.
But before Butler had a chance to prove himself on the court, he spent his time trying to prove himself on the streets, as a gang member and drug dealer in his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin. He saw friends gunned down in the bloody street wars near his home, was arrested nearly 15 times and wound up behind bars and in solitary confinement before his 15th birthday.
Tuff Juice shares Caron Butler’s extraordinary journey from his delinquent youth in the streets of Racine to his role as an accomplished pro basketball player, dedicated husband and father, active philanthropist and burgeoning businessman. Along the way, the book explores the incredible impact his single mother’s unconditional love and his college coach’s unwavering support had on him, and what drives him to be so successful in basketball and in life.
Like The Blind Side, it’s a gripping narrative filled with hubris, dangerous obstacles and heartwarming moments that transcend sports and speak to perseverance, hope and the triumph of the human spirit.
If it’s anything like his video series with VICE Sports last fall, it’s going to be worth checking out. If you’re unfamiliar with Butler’s story, it’s well worth watching: