STORRS, Conn. - The UConn Foundation is excited to announce that former Husky men's basketball All-American Caron Butler and his wife Andrea have made a gift in support of the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center.
Butler earned All-American honors and was the Big East Conference Player of the Year and the Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2001-02 and led the Huskies to the NCAA Elite Eight. After that season, Butler was an NBA Draft lottery selection with the 10th pick by the Miami Heat. He is a two-time NBA All-Star, 2011 NBA Champion as a member of the Dallas Mavericks and is in his 14th season in the NBA, currently as a member of the Sacramento Kings.
Butler returned to campus in February and was inducted as a member of the Huskies of Honor, which recognizes the great players in UConn history.
"Andrea and I met at UConn, and it has always held a special place in our hearts," said Butler. "Being recognized in the Huskies of Honor event brought back so many incredible memories and emotions. Coach Jim Calhoun and all the coaches--Karl Hobbs, Dave Leitao, George Blaney, and Tom Moore--played a critical role in my life and we are blessed to be able to give back in this small way."
"We are extremely grateful to Caron and Andrea for their support. We have raised more than $33.5 million in private support toward this project with another $3.5 million needed to complete it. Caron and Andrea's commitment is meaningful as we work to complete the fundraising for the Center and hopefully provides an example that others will follow," said Joshua Newton, UConn Foundation President and CEO.
Butler, whose gift amount remains private, hopes that his act of giving inspires others. "I want everyone who values UConn and its student-athletes to understand that every gift matters, small or large," Butler added.
"Any time a former student-athlete makes a gift we are grateful, as it shows how much UConn still means to them," said Rachel Rubin, Interim Director of Athletics.
Butler's Husky pride does run deep. In fact, he recently said that he is "elated that UConn has been loyal to the Husky Brotherhood" by hiring former UConn and NBA player Kevin Ollie as head coach of the men's team.
"We truly appreciate Caron and Andrea's commitment to the project," said Rubin.
The 75,000-plus square-foot Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center facility features two separate wings for the men's and women's basketball programs. It includes common areas for academic support, sports medicine, and strength training areas, as well as separate practice gyms, locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms and video analysis theaters.
For more information about the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center, visit http://www.foundation.uconn.edu/werth-family-uconn-basketball-champions-center/.