Booty Butler: Philly Guard Working in Jersey

Philly Guard – /Filē gärd/ – Noun
A young man or woman from the Greater Philadelphia Region that plays a backcourt position in the game of basketball. Typically focused on the defensive end of the game and takes extreme pride in playing a physical and tough brand of basketball.

In recent years grassroots and scholastic basketball fans have been blessed to witness the development of some exceptional Philly Guards. Over the past decade, some really tough customers have come through the 215. Ja’Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti/Miami), Samir Doughty (MCS/VCU/ Auburn), Shizz Alston (Haverford School/Temple), Tony Carr (Roman Catholic/Penn St), Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti/Kentucky/Washington), Stevie Jordan (Conwell-Egan/Rider), Ryan Daly (Carroll/Delaware/St. Joseph’s), Josh Sharkey (Carroll/Samford), Zane Martin (Neumann-Goretti/Towson/New Mexico/Towson), Sam Sessoms (Shipley/Binghamton/Penn State) and Fatts Russell (Imhotep/Rhode Island/Maryland) are some of the more prominent names that are usually mentioned when discussing top Philly Guards.

Somehow, someway… perhaps, the most Philly of all the recent guards tends to get overlooked.

Not today…

Antwaun “Booty” Butler

Antwaun “Booty” Butler is a quintessential Philly Guard. Standing just over 6 feet and built like and NFL strong safety, Butler is a measured and cerebral lead guard. He can get just about anywhere on the floor whenever he wants. His rebounding ability is an unusual attribute for a 6-0 guard. Butler takes pride in his performance on the defensive end of the court. He displays an ability to lock in and effective defend the top guards. While powerfully built, Butler has quick hands and feet and can be disruptive on the defensive end.

Butler has a well deserved reputation as a winner. As an underclassman, he was a captain at Del-Val Charter School and led his team to both a city championship and public league championship. In doing so, he handed National powerhouse Imhotep Charter their lone loss to a Public League opponent over a four year period. Butler was named All-City three times.

Del-Val closed following Butler’s junior year and he followed his coach Jason Harrigan to Cardinal O’Hara HS. Butler lead Cardinal O’Hara to the Philadelphia Catholic League quarterfinals as a senior. He played two seasons at Austin Peay, starting 37 games over his freshman and sophomore season. The winning continued as Butler helped lead the Governors to 22 wins in 2018-19 and 21 victories in 2019-20.

In his second season at NJIT, Butler led his squad into Jersey Mike’s Arena on the campus of Rutgers University to face the Scarlet Knights. This represents a perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of a mature Butler against a highly regarded Big 10 opponent. How would Butler do against Geo Baker, Ron Harper and Paul Mulcahy? The knock against Butler has always been his shooting, especially his 3-ball… Has it improved?

At the 19:14 mark of the 1st half, less than a minute into the game, Butler splashes a 3-pointer from the top of the key. He displays a confident smirk… He knows he can make this shot… At the 16:44 mark he escapes his man and makes a layup. With Butler in control of the flow of the game, NJIT takes a 33-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.

NJIT surrendered the lead early in the second half. Then at the 15:33 mark of the second half, Butler made another 3-point shot to bring them within 1, 41-42. As the second half wore on, the size, athleticism and depth of the Scarlet Knights proved too much for NJIT. Rutgers would outscore NJIT 43-28 in the second half on the way to a 75-61 win before an enthusiastic sold-out crowd.

Butler didn’t get the win tonight. But he turned in a very Philly stat line… While playing 30 minutes, Butler shot 5-9 FG and 3-6 3FG finishing with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and ZERO (0) turnovers. He battled all night with Rutgers star guard Geo Baker.

If you get a chance, make your way to an NJIT game. They have a real Philly Guard running point. You won’t be disappointed.

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