An Unlikely Success Story


Enzo Suarez

Every athlete has a story, some grow up spoiled and become successful playing their sport at the highest level in the world. Others don’t have it as easy. Five time all star, three time all NBA and four time all Defense forward, Jimmy Butler was abandoned and forgotten by his family at a young age.
As a child, Butler had it rough. He grew up in the Houston suburb of Tomball, where his father left the family when Jimmy was just a toddler. Eventually, his mother, Londa Butler added on to his life’s history of neglect as she kicked him out of the house at age 13. She left him with some words that he would later use as inspiration to get himself to where he is today.
“I don’t like the look of you. You gotta go,” said Butler.
After being kicked out, Butler moved in with a friend, Jordan Leslie. Jordan had a loving mother that was willing to care for not only her seven children, but also Butler. This family would go on to help him become successful. He had found someone who was willing to love and care for him everyday.
Butler would go on to persevere through his difficult childhood and make his way into the NBA by working hard to become more recognized on his basketball journey.
According to, Butler started as an unrecruited prospect for Tomball High School. He then went to Tyler Junior College where he raised his recruitment to two stars and began to be noticed by more schools. Butler was then offered a scholarship to Marquette University where he began to be recognized by NBA teams.
All the pain that Butler dealt with allowed him to grow and he used all of his doubters as motivation. When talking about his story growing up, Butler is very humble.
According to, he believes there is nothing for anybody to feel sorry for him about.
“I hate that. There’s nothing to feel sorry about. I love what happened to me. It made me who I am. I’m grateful for the challenges I’ve faced,” said Butler.
Fans of Butler look up to him for his personality on and off the court. Junior, Bilal Mazhar’s favorite player is Butler and although he appreciates how Butler plays on the court, that is not why he admires him the most.
“I’ve always liked [Jimmy Butler’s] work ethic…he inspires all of the other players on and off the court. He is a great leader and role model,” said Mazhar.
Despite the adversity, Butler and the Heat played in the NBA Finals against the Lakers led by Lebron James. Despite losing in game six of a best of seven game series, Butler showed extreme talent and perseverance. He dropped record breaking stats throughout the regular season and playoff games.
Jimmy Butler is proof that with hard work and perseverance any challenge that you have in life can be conquered, being kicked out of his home at an early age was just one of the many adversities he conquered. Throughout life many people and things will try to put you down, but if you just have the courage to rise above then you will be able to accomplish anything.