UT Martin’s Butler signs with WNBA team
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The University of Tennessee at Martin senior guard Heather Butler will continue her dreams of playing professional basketball with the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars after signing a training-day contract as announced by head coach and general manager Dan Hughes today. Butler becomes the first Skyhawk and second Ohio Valley Conference player to be invited to a WNBA training camp.
“This is an absolute dream come true,” said Butler. “Ever since I was little I have dreamed of playing at the next level and to be able to compete against some of the best players in the world. When Coach Hughes called to see if I was interested, I was completely surprised that an opportunity like this happened so quickly. Being able to have this opportunity is a complete shock and honor. Having your dreams right in the palm of your hands is a true blessing. I am just ready to go play and prove myself.”
Butler will go down as one of the greats to ever wear a Skyhawk jersey. The 5-4 guard closed her career as the top scorer in UT Martin and Ohio Valley Conference history with 2,865 points which ranked 16th on the NCAA’s all-time leaderboard. Named the 2014 OVC Player of the Year, Butler ranked ninth in the country in scoring with 23.6 points per game along with setting her third NCAA three-point record with 392 career three-pointers made.
Included in her high scoring output was a truly historical level of consistency. Butler scored in double figures in 129 consecutive games – every game of her career – ranking as the second longest streak in NCAA history. Her 129 game double figures streak ranks fifth on the all-time NCAA list.
A native of Medina, Tenn., Butler was tabbed a Senior CLASS Award All-American first team selection. Along with her numerous accomplishments on the court – including four All-OVC first team honors, two outright OVC season championships, four OVC Tournament championships and four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths – Butler was named a Final Five finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award. She was also a nominee for the AllState WBCA Good Works team, CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America second team and OVC Scholar-Athlete.
San Antonio added three players in the WNBA Draft welcoming Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride, Astou Ndour and Bri Kulas from Missouri. The Stars training camp begins on Sunday, April 27. The team will open the preseason, on May 2 against the Tulsa Shock, with the regular season opener set for Friday, May 16 at the defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream.