With College Ball Ahead, Senior John Butler Reflects on CCES Experience
April 23, 2021
John Butler, Senior forward for the Cavaliers, committed to Florida State to continue his academic and athletic career. The basketball team then won its first ever State Championship, allowing John and his fellow seniors to end on the highest possible note. I asked John about his favorite moment from his career, and he said he “doesn’t think any of them top winning the state championship.”
The Cavaliers were not only uncertain of how they would finish this season, but they were also concerned about whether the season would even finish. John said the uncertainty of the season made the championship victory feel even more special; “knowing that the season itself was a maybe. Nobody knew if we were going to actually finish the season but thankfully we did.” The championship capped off a season of question marks, and the Cavaliers ended it with an exclamation point.
While the championship marked the end of John’s athletic career, he still has a few more weeks on campus.
The transition from high school to college is a pretty big one, so as John continues towards the next chapter of his life, I wanted to ask him what he’ll miss most about his Christ Church experience. He says he will mostly miss the “loving community at the school: the students, faculty, and the parents who were so caring and supportive throughout my highschool experience”.
John arrived at Christ Church entering his freshman year, along with his brothers and his father, John Sr., who was preparing to take the reins as the next head coach of the Cavaliers. This allowed the team to have a close relationship, headed by the Butler family, and made the championship feel even more close to home, John said. “Playing with my brother and my dad being the coach definitely made the championship really special.” Their success creates a bond between the Butler’s and the players that will last a lifetime.
John committed to Florida State after narrowing his college options down to six. Along with Florida State, John chose Alabama, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Wake Forest, and Vanderbilt as his potential landing spots. John said the driving factor behind his decision “wasn’t who won the most games or historically had a better program,” but more “who I trusted to develop me as a player and as a person”.
Although it wasn’t his reason for his decision, the Seminoles have a pretty good track record for winning basketball games. They compete in the ACC, the most rigorous conference in the country, that features some of the most elite programs on the map. The Seminoles won the 2020 ACC tournament and was ranked fourth in the country before the NCAA tournament was called off due to COVID-19. They have made the tournament each of the last five seasons and appear to be a program on the rise.
As interesting as his basketball resumé may seem, I wanted to dig slightly deeper and take a personal route with the questions I asked him. While basketball is a very important component to his life, I wanted to ask some personal life questions to mix it up.
One of the questions I asked him was how often people asked how tall he was. With John being 7 feet tall, it seems like it would be a commonly asked question. He says he “gets the question everywhere. At the gas station, restaurants, Walmart, the mall, church, and even a quick run to go pick up some food”. His height does stand out, as only .00017% of Americans break the 7-foot line.
I also asked him which sport he would play in college if basketball didn’t exist. He said “if I spent a lot of time working on a different sport, it would be tennis, swimming, track, or even volleyball.” He would have a chance to dominate all of those sports, but the one that stands out is swimming. The 7-foot wingspan would give him a huge advantage in the pool.
As John leaves Greenville for Tallahassee, it was great to reflect on his favorite moments and spotlight what he has accomplished during his time here, while also getting to know him better as an individual. As one door closes and another opens, it will be fun to see how far John takes basketball with him, and we wish him the absolute best as he does so.