Isom Butler: A lockdown defender and an improving scorer

Featured photo courtesy of Malik Thompson.

Everyday before school starts, Centennial High School (CA) guard Isom Butler’s alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Butler wakes up at this time, still half asleep, every weekday with his 21-year-old brother Marvin. The two then go workout at the gym before school. Together, they work on Isom’s shooting, ball handling and strength, among other things.

They only started doing this about a month ago, according to Marvin, and improving Isom’s shot is the main reason they started working out.

“That’s exactly why we are in the gym,” Marvin Butler said. “The jumper is coming along and he’s getting stronger everyday.”

Isom, a 6-foot-1 inch Class of 2017 point guard from Corona, Calif., is a tremendously active player who prides himself on his defense. He brings lots of energy, which shows in how fast he plays. On-ball defense is Butler’s biggest strength and he prides himself on it.

“I’m always thinking: the more hard-nosed the person, the better that person plays,” Butler said. “I always try to play hard and the harder you play the better.”

Before a game is a different story for Butler. While getting ready for a game he zones everyone out and only listens to his favorite rapper, Lil Wayne.

“I’m not talking to anyone before the game,” Butler said. “I’m just listening to my music and getting ready to play.”

Butler started playing basketball when he was 3 years old, but he did not start playing organized basketball until he was about 8, he said. That is when he first noticed he had the skill to become a special player.

“When I was 8 or 9, I first started travel with the RC Bulls,” Butler said. “My coach pulled me to the side and told me I could make it to the next level. I realized could really get a college scholarship.”

Butler credits his parents for getting him started playing basketball when he was younger and today they are still the reason he keeps playing.

“They show me that they care so I got to keep doing this for all they have done for me,” Butler said.

Butler currently holds one offer from Cal State Bakersfield, but he has been attracting lots of attention recently from Santa Barbara, Western Kentucky, Fordham, and Cal State Northridge.

He has not started looking into his list or even a timetable for making his decision yet, but he did say that his recruitment process is starting to pick up a bit after a slow start.

Even though he doesn’t know where he wants to go, Butler knows he wants to study business management once he gets to college next year.

“I have no idea when I will decide, once I find the right school I guess,” Butler said. “I want to go somewhere where the coach is cool and a great atmosphere where it feels like home.”

Edited by Max Marcilla.