Born: March 13, 1980
career highlights: Butler had a brief and dynamic two-year career, averaging and 7.6 rebounds in 2000-02. With tears flowing at a press conference after his sophomore season, Butler announced his desire to remain in Storrs but his need to move on. He is ninth on UConn's list of highest single-season scoring averages, 20.3 in 2001-02.
Butler's signature performance came in his final game. He scored 26 of his 32 points in the second half, leading the Huskies down the stretch in a classic
game against heavily favored Maryland. The Huskies came up short, losing 90-82, but Butler put on what is still considered one of the top individual performances in UConn history. He is known as one of the toughest players to ever pull on a jersey for
career: Butler was selected 10th overall by the Heat and averaged 15.4 points as a rookie. In 2004, he was traded to the Lakers along with
, a first-round pick (
. It was a good trade for both teams, as each won titles with players included in the deal.
Butler played one season with the Lakers, averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, before being traded to the Wizards. He became one of the NBA's most complete players and a two-time all-star in Washington, where his annual salary also approached $10 million. He averaged a career-high 20.8 points in 2008-09.
Late last season, Butler was traded to the Mavericks and averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 27 games.
Growth: Butler's is one of the more interesting and inspiring stories in basketball. He came from a troubled background in Racine, Wis., spending time in a detention center. He then attended Maine Central Institute before playing at UConn under Jim Calhoun, who Butler credits for helping turn his life around.
"Coming here as a freshman, and going through the obstacles I went through in my life, you all inspired me," Butler said last summer while being honored by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. "Coach [Calhoun], the changing point was being under your wing. You coached me like a father, and it means a lot to me to [have] come to this university after so many people had given up on me. That's why I try to get out there and give back as much as possible."