During his West Virginia career, Da’Sean Butler was known for many things on the court, the most prominent being his ability to hit clutch shots. After a series of three knee surgeries dating back to the 2010 Final Four, Butler returned to the court overseas this year and showed what made him a legend in Morgantown.
Butler spent the 2012 season on WVU’s bench as a graduate assistant under Bob Huggins while he went through rehabilitation from a third knee surgery. Last August, his goal of returning to the court culminated with him signing to play for Okapi Aalstar in Belgium (Alex Ruoff’s former team). Questions of how he and his thrice repaired knee cast a shadow over his return: How would he play? Would it hold up? How much could he play? How likely was it that he would get injured again?
Throughout the season, Butler answered those questions emphatically. He played in every game and was only one of two players on the team to make that claim. He played just over thirty minutes per game, and was second on the team, and fifth in the league, in scoring during the regular season at 16.2 points per contest.
Butler elevated his game in the Playoffs. He averaged 21.6ppg through the five game semi-final series, hitting a buzzer- beater in Game 4 to send it to double overtime as Okapi took down the higher ranked Hainaut. Sound familiar?
His team pushed Oostende to five games in the Belgian Ethias League Finals to lose the series 3-2. Butler averaged nearly 14 a game in those five games.
For his play over the course of the season, he was recognized as the Belgian Ethias League Forward of the Year as voted on by Eurobasket.com.
This season, Butler squashed the health questions by doing what he is known for: playing at a high level, providing leadership, and answering the call in the clutch. With the offseason just getting started, we can’t wait to see what happens next in his career.