Young people can look up to Caron Butler for a lot of reasons. He is 6-feet-7, so one would have to look up to see his face. He is a star basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks. He has been on Oprah’s show and the cover of Sports Illustrated.
He is a true celebrity.
But what Caron wants young people to know about him isn’t related to his celebrity status. He wants young people to know that he once was in prison. He was arrested numerous times before he was 15. His life was spiraling downward until Jameel Ghauri, executive director of the George Bray Neighborhood Center in Racine Wisconsin stepped into Caron’s life.
Ghauri stood by the young boy as he served various sentences and then helped him get out of the criminal element altogether. He also introduced the boy to serious basketball, and soon recognized a special talent.
Now Caron is at the peak of success professionally and personally. He is married and is determined to be an active participant in his children’s lives, unlike his own father who abandoned the family.
Caron speaks to young people about his past and encourages them to take a different road in their lives. He is also a volunteer with Habitat For Humanity. He conducts Youth Clinics and bicycle, coat, and school supply drives.
In a recent interview in the Dallas Morning News Caron had this to say, “I get paid millions of dollars doing something that I love. Whenever I get the opportunity to share my story and influence others, be a pillar in the community, I embrace it.”
I would like to embrace Caron for becoming a man of such character and integrity. That is something that the young people can really look up to him for.