TJC Alumnus Jimmy Butler Wins Gold

Feb 14, 2017 by

Butler-9150-xWhen TJC alumnus Jimmy Butler won gold (a TJC first!) as a member of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in Rio last year, it wasn’t a surprise for TJC head basketball coach Mike Marquis. He recognized the young player’s potential for greatness back in 2007 when he invited the overlooked high school recruit to TJC for a visit. “I fell in love with his personality, and after watching him play,” Marquis said. “I realized that not only was he a great person, he was a wonderful talent.”

While Butler played power center on his Tomball High School team, Marquis moved him to the perimeter and Butler’s career took off. “Jimmy led us in scoring, with 19 points a game. He was the team leader. With his work ethic and ability to communicate with others, he immediately rose to the forefront of our team.”  That year, TJC won the regular season title. The next year, Butler went on to play for Marquette University and in 2011 was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls, who had been watching him for several years at the suggestion of Coach Marquis.

Butler’s Olympic gold-medal win is a source of great pride for his former coach. “We’ve had a lot of players go on to be successful. With Jimmy, you could just see his potential for greatness. It’s so much fun to see the level of greatness he’s reached.”


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Features, Winter 2017

About the author

Tracy Torma is a staff writer for The Apache.