Butler had garnered heavy interest from schools such as St. Francis (Pa.) and North Carolina A&T and looked forward to the chance to impress recruiters during the open evaluation period this summer, playing with Alana Beard’s Future on the AAU circuit.
Last month, Butler made up her mind, orally committing to Stony Brook. The Seawolves coaches offered the 5-foot-10 guard a scholarship during the basketball season, caught her attention on a campus visit soon after and made her feel like a priority through the process.
“I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity like this,” Butler said. “I liked the school. I liked the team. I liked the coaches. I liked the environment. I liked pretty much everything about it.”
Butler averaged a team-high 13.25 points for the Bulldogs this season, including 52 three-pointers. At the next level, she’ll be asked to play on the wing and stretch defenses with that outside shooting prowess. She said she hopes to improve her ball-handling heading into her final high school season.
Butler had long hoped to land a scholarship, and when suitors began to emerge, she did her homework before making a commitment. She took visits to St. Francis (Pa.), St. John’s and Hofstra, along with Stony Brook, and only seriously began thinking about committing in late April after the Deep South Classic in North Carolina.
On the way home from that event, Butler called a member of the Stony Brook staff who had been in attendance. The assistant’s enthusiasm for how she could help the Seawolves started to seem more real and got her excited, too. After discussing it with her parents and AAU Coach Keith Chestnut, she called back a few days later with her decision.
Butler is the first Bowie player in her class to make a college commitment, but she likely won’t be the last. The Bulldogs return four of their top five scorers off last season’s 20-win squad.
The other three players expected to return – guards Ryan Maynard and Serena Brown and forward Alexis Newbold – are all AAU teammates with Butler and have received Division I interest as well, according to Bowie Coach Chris Ferguson.
“I’ve never been so excited about a season ever,” Butler said. “I have nothing but hope and faith for this season. I feel a championship coming on this year.”