The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 12, 2010

Mountaineers’ Butler coming to Beckley May 21

BECKLEY — For Mountaineer fans, there is that lasting image of West Virginia star Da’Sean Butler spread out on the floor at the Final Four etched in their minds.

Face grimacing with pain. Sweat and tears pouring down his cheeks. A helpless expression in his eyes — the eyes of a hero accustomed to delivering his team and its legion of fans a big victory.

Of course, the historic march through the postseason for WVU, its first final four appearance in 51 years, ended on the floor at Indianapolis in a national semifinal loss to eventual champion Duke.

However, before that fateful moment when the 6-foot-7 senior forward suffered a torn ACL and sprained MCL in his left knee, there were many more positive moments to remember Butler for.

In fact, he became a nationally celebrated sports figure thanks to his clutch, game-winning shots.

Butler provided many thrilling moments for WVU fans in his four years in Morgantown.

Beckley area fans will have a chance to celebrate his career and purchase a collectible photo of Butler from the Dale Sparks Collection with the Mountaineer standout on hand to personally autograph it Friday, May 21, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

“He’s really looking forward to coming,” said Sparks, a Beckley native who has been based in Morgantown for over 25 years. “Da’Sean is crazy about the fans. He’s very thankful about how they’ve supported the team.”

Butler finished his career as the third-highest scorer in the history of Mountaineer basketball with 2,095 points, behind only legends Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley.

Following the 2009-10 season, he was the first WVU basketball player to be named as a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the national player of the year. He was a first team All-Big East selection and was named to the second-team AP All-America squad.

He scored a team-high 17.2 points per game as WVU recorded a single season best 31 victories.

Butler also won the prestigious Lowe’s National Senior CLASS Award.

The Lowe’s award “focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities,” according to the award website. “The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including community service, excellence in the classroom, outstanding character and competition on the court.”

WVU coach Bob Huggins summed it up best in an interview with Mickey Furfari in March: “Da’Sean is a heck of a player. I think he is one of the best players to ever play here. He also, I think, is one of the best people.”

Last year, Sparks hosted a similar event in Beckley with former WVU football star Pat White.

“The fans in Beckley were phenomenal,” Sparks said. “It was a very good turnout. We expect the same for Da’Sean. He’s just as loved around here as Pat White.

“Sometimes the fans in the northern part of the state take for granted the opportunity to see the players,” Sparks added. “It’s a little harder for people in southern West Virginia to get to Morgantown. This event will give them more access to Da’Sean. They’ll be able to speak with him. We won’t be herding people through.”

Butler will be available for the meet-and-greet event from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Per event rules, if you wish to meet Butler, you will be required to make a minimum $25 photo purchase. No outside items will be autographed.

All items are fully licensed through West Virginia University and are authentic original photographs.

The event is sponsored by The Register-Herald, Little General Stores, West Virginia Coal Recovery and Hayden & Hart, PLLC.

Text Only
College Sports
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp