Millennial Musings: Wise words from Caron Butler

by Paige Weslaski

This past week, I was lucky enough to enjoy lunch with my favorite Racine couple. They’ve been my role models for a long time, having been given much (through incredible talent) and given away even more (to the community).

They’re humble but confident, cool but collected, jolly but even-keeled. They love to travel, yet find home is where the heart is. They’ve got lots of friends, but know family comes first. Their love is tighter than most, placing the other before themselves.

Who’s this sensational duo, you ask? Caron and Andrea Butler, Racine’s dream team.

Caron has played for nine NBA teams throughout his career, giving back to Racine from the start. He’s given financially, but even more so, he’s provided a beacon of light. He is the type of man who thinks before he speaks; every word is profound, with a sophisticated discernment about him that makes him more than a man — almost a living legend.

Caron is everything you hear about and more: brains, brawn, and full of blessings that he is respectful of with each word he speaks. Andrea, his goddess-like wife whom he met at the University of Connecticut, is equally as impressive caring for their jovial children and keeping life stable. They are indeed “two in a million.”

We were meeting for lunch at JOEY in Woodland Hills, Calif., my date and I anxiously awaiting the arrival of the couple. Right on time, they breezed into the restaurant, and as if on cue the manager came out from the back to greet them warmly. We were seated at a large booth overlooking the restaurant, and thus began a two-hour spree of life insight from Caron and Andrea.

Caron explained how his different NBA coaches had unique styles, some effective and some not. He elaborated on how the best coaches, or leaders, were those who could teach players how to be the best possible versions of themselves both on and off the court. “The best organizations were the ones that really cared about the well-being of its players.”

Perhaps my favorite line spoken by Caron that day, with a serious look in his eyes that almost pierced my soul, was this: “Life is about living. Really living. When I was in solitary confinement as a teenager (in Racine), I prayed so hard that I’d be able to make something of myself through the game of basketball. Not necessarily for myself, but so I could give back. Now that it’s happened, I’m holding up my end of the bargain. Sure, Andrea and I enjoy life and take occasional trips here and there, but in the end it’s about making an impact.”

Once lunch was finished and our calamari, hibachi wings and entrees were cleared away, we said our goodbyes, and they left us with one last line that embodies their character precisely: “We’re here for you anytime.” The term “humble” understates the mindset that this unique couple lives daily. Racine sure is lucky to have Caron and Andrea Butler to look up to, and this lunch did more than solidify that in my mind.

Thanks for all you do, Caron and Andrea!

Source: The Journal Times