RA’s Butler eyes college stardom at Alabama

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 18, 2017

RESERVE — Riverside Academy senior point guard Jared Butler recently signed a binding letter of intent to join the University of Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball team for the 2018-2019 season.

Joined by parents Richard and Juanea Butler, grandfather Lewis Prince, head basketball coach Timmy Byrd and Riverside Academy Principal Mike Coburn, Butler signed his letter Monday inside RA’s gym during a celebration attended by teammates and classmates.

Jared Butler is joined by his Riverside Academy teammates.

Butler said his decision to commit to University of Alabama was influenced by head coach Avery Johnson’s history with the NBA and the support representatives from the University have given him throughout the recruitment period.

“The guys have shown me love from day one,” Butler said. “I’m excited about being able to play at a high level for a school with a lot of pride and tradition in all sports. I just can’t wait to get to college and play at the next level.”

Butler’s success comes as no surprise to Byrd, who noted the 17-year-old has maintained a 4.0 GPA while excelling in basketball and football throughout his high school career.

“He’s a player that’s got the complete package, the toughness and the basketball skills to afford him the opportunity to do great things,” Byrd said.

He also spoke about Butler’s strength of character.

“As a point guard, you have to have leadership capabilities,” Byrd said. “He’s got all the character traits that you look for in a player to lead other players.”

Butler’s parents are immensely proud of his achievements, and his father, Richard, said his ability to bounce back from knee surgeries shows his dedication to reaching his highest level of play.

Having verbally committed to Alabama on Oct. 17, Butler is happy to finally put it in writing.

“I’m feeling relieved,” Butler said. “It’s been a long process, and I’m glad it’s over with. I’m thankful for all the blessings I’ve received through this process.”

Lewis Prince joins his grandson, Jared Butler, at a signing day ceremony Monday at Riverside Academy.