Former Baylor Men’s Basketball’s Jared Butler—arguably the program’s best player ever—was just medically cleared to play in the NBA after being referred to the league’s Fitness-to-Play Panel at the end of June. According to Sports Illustrated, “The panel consists of three physicians that determine if players are allowed to be medically cleared to play in the NBA. The panel was created in 2017 and deals with potentially life-threatening situations. Specifically, cardiac illnesses and conditions as well as blood clots and other blood conditions and disorders.” Yesterday Butler tweeted “I am fully healthy and cleared to play in the NBA! Out of an abundance of care, the NBA is incredibly thorough in vetting the health of every player during the pre-Draft process and throughout our careers. I am forever grateful that their comprehensive and strict health analysis has unanimously confirmed my fitness to play in the NBA. Now, my focus is entirely on the Draft and working daily to prepare myself to fulfill my lifelong dream !!” During the hold on his clearance, Butler wasn’t allowed to practice or do any other on-court activities so as not to contribute to any possible health issues. Thankfully Butler is cleared now and he can move forward in preparing for the upcoming Draft where he’s predicted to go in the first round.
In my last post about him, I wrote “was named the 2020-21 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year, sweeping the conference’s postseason awards by a landslide. The Big 12 announced Butler’s being named Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year on Tuesday in a press release where they noted “Nominees are submitted by Big 12 institutions and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through Big12Sports.com.” Butler is the third male athlete from Baylor to win the award and he’s the first one since 2014 when Baylor QB Bryce Petty took home the honor. Fellow Baylor QB and Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III was the Bears’ first male athlete award winner in 2010. Butler is also the only athlete ever in the conference to be named Big 12 Athlete of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In my previous post about his winning Sportsperson of the Year, I wrote “According to Baylor Athletics’ Jerry Hill (papa), “The Sportsperson of the Year Awards began in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship, community service and academic achievement. A 10-person media panel selects the male and female honorees.” And last week Thursday, Butler was named Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year following an incredibly historic final season with the National Champion Men’s Basketball team. In my May 30th post about Butler, the now Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year, declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft, I wrote “Butler is a unanimous All-American with honors on the All-Big 12 First Team, All-Big 12 All-Defensive Team, Sporting News’ All-American First Team, National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America First Team, and being named the Associated Press’ Big 12 Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Final Four. Jared Butler finished his Baylor career as arguably the best player in program history and in his final season shooting 47.1% (177-376) of his field goals, 41.6% (77-185) of 3s, and 78% (71-91) of free throws with a total of 99 boards, 144 assists, 59 steals, 11 blocks, and 502 points.” Outside of basketball, Butler represents his fellow student athletes on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and teaches 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday school classes at Harris Creek Baptist Church.”
Butler will undoubtedly be a star in the NBA and I’m excited to see his journey continue within the next few weeks!