Caron Butler has come a long way since selling crack cocaine as a teenager in Racine, Wisconsin. The 35-year-old small forward is an NBA champion and two-time All-Star.
Butler documents his life story in his memoir, Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, released in October. The book is now being turned into a film, produced by Mark Wahlberg and his partners at Leverage Entertainment, Inc., Music for the People, Inc. and Closest to the Hole Productions.
"I wanted to tell my story because I'm living proof that it is possible to overcome adversity and make a better life for yourself and your family," Butler said in a press release. "The response from the book was overwhelming and when someone like Mark Wahlberg tells you that your life could be a movie, you listen."
Butler, currently on his ninth NBA team with the Sacramento Kings, claims to have been arrested 15 times before age 15. In January 1998, Wisconsin police officer Rick Geller had grounds to send Butler to jail for potentially a decade, but his conscious told him to let Butler off the hook. Butler and Geller now make public appearances to tell their story.
"[Caron is] a perfect example to all the young kids growing up in tough neighborhoods to never give up on your dreams," Wahlberg, who grew up with his own youth struggles in Boston, says.
Butler and Wahlberg met during Butler's tenure with the Clippers from 2011-2013, and they have remained friends.
Butler has averaged 14.2 points per game over his career, but he's averaging just 2.7 points in nine games this season.
— Mark Wahlberg (@mark_wahlberg) September 22, 2015