Racine native and NBA All-Star Caron Butler could see his life story on the silver screen now that Hollywood superstar Mark Wahlberg has purchased the rights to Butler’s memoir.
Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA tells the story of Butler’s childhood in Racine where he was a 15-year-old drug dealer with 15 arrests under his belt. He credits his mother for helping see him through those dark times, and in 2008 he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that former Racine police Officer and founder of Cops ‘n Kids Reading Program Julia Burney helped turn him around as well.
In the book, Butler details trying to fit into local gangs before he realized he was headed for death like so many of his friends or for a lifetime of jail sentences and chose to use his basketball talent to go to college and play in the NBA.
Wahlberg likes Butler’s story because it’s inspirational.
“This story is as good, as dramatic, and as inspirational as any I’ve dealt with in my professional career. Caron Butler should be applauded for turning his life around, for morphing into a role model, and for sharing his story so that others might learn from his example. This is not a basketball book as much as it is a book about life, a life of transformation and redemption,” a comment from the actor/producer reads in the reviews on Amazon.com.
A press release from Swanson Communications this week outlines a friendship between Butler and Wahlberg that started in 2011. Butler sent Wahlberg a copy of Tuff Juice last fall when it was published, and he’s surprised but thrilled about the possibility of a movie.
“I’m excited to take the next step towards sharing my story with an even larger audience and it’s a blessing to have someone as well-known and respected as Mark Wahlberg by my side,” Butler said in a press release this week.
There aren’t any writers, directors or actors attached to the movie just yet.