Racine community No. 1 fans of hometown NBA star Caron Butler
Tremell Gwinn is working on his game at a local Racine community center. It's the Park High School sophomore's goal to make varsity next year.
\"He's helped me practice on my dribbling,\" he said.
Gwinn is talking about fellow Park High Panther, No. 54, Caron Butler.
\"He's inspired me. He's motivated me,\" said Gwinn. \"He's emotional, but he's a very good player. He's strong, he's very athletic.\"
But perhaps it's something else bringing Butler back to the Milwaukee Bucks roster.
\"I just think his dedication and determination,\" said Coach Jim Betker, Park High boys basketball team. \"I think a lot of coaches want that in their locker room.\"
Whatever the reason, the Racine community is proud to welcome their NBA star home.
Butler made it through a rough childhood in this house and served jail time as teen for selling drugs. It's a pressures of street life kids still face today.
\"If i hang out with the bad crowd, that's no basketball for me,\" said Gwinn.
Coach Betker is a close friend of Butler's, who said the hardwood saved the player and he's continued to give back ever since.
Butler is expected to attend the 2nd Annual Park Panther basketball camp at Park High School July 14-16.
\"This is a big thing for him to have his camp under his name and provide back to these kids and the city of Racine where he's from,\" Coach Betker said. \"He's never lost sight of where his roots are.\"
Gwinn hopes to show off his skills at that camp. Until then, he's on cloud nine with the thought of Butler's return.
\"Emotional, inspired,\" he said. \"A lot of things. I can't think of any because I'm just so enthusiastic right now.\"
Many NBA analysts think Butler will never take the court again for the Bucks, saying the trade to bring him here was a salary cap move.
But that doesn't matter to people in Racine. They are happy that their native son is a positive influence no matter where he's playing.