Mason ‘Basketball Legend’ Lamar Butler Honored at Semifinals

Posted: March 14, 2014 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: March 17, 2014 at 7:12 am

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By Preston Williams

President Ángel Cabrera and Lamar Butler pose for a photo during the Ignite Your Mason Spirit Reception at the Brooklyn Academy of Music - Lepercq Space in Brooklyn, NY. George Mason Patriots play against the Fordham Rams in the Opening Round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. Photo by Craig Bisacre

President Ángel Cabrera and Lamar Butler at the Ignite Your Mason Spirit reception at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Butler will be honored on March 15 as a “Basketball Legend” at the A-10 Conference men’s basketball tournament. Photo by Craig Bisacre

Chosen to represent George Mason University this week as a “Basketball Legend” at the university’s inaugural Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, Lamar Butler considers himself not a legend but a mere representative of a talented group of close-knit Patriots who made a stunning run to the 2006 NCAA Final Four.

Butler, BA Communication ’06, and 12 Legends from the other A-10 schools will be honored Saturday first at a luncheon and then at the conference semifinals at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“It’s definitely an honor,” says Butler, 30, who college basketball fans will remember as the public face of an 11th-seeded Mason team that knocked off Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut. “But honestly, I feel like they could have picked anybody from our 2005-06 team to represent George Mason. They picked me to represent my brothers.”

Butler, a 6-foot-2 guard, is the program’s all-time three-point field goal leader with 295. He is 13th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,488 points.

After leaving Mason, Butler played professionally in the Czech Republic, Turkey and in the NBA Development League. He is the owner of SportsHeaven USA, a sporting goods business in Temple Hills, Md.

Butler attended several Mason games this season — “I lost my voice at three or four,” he jokes — and is enthused about his school’s future in the Atlantic 10 and about this week’s Final Four reminiscing.

“You saw one of us, you saw all of us,” he says of the 2006 group that included Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn, Will Thomas, Folarin Campbell and many others. “I felt we made that run because we were so close as a team. We looked out for each other and loved each other, and that showed on the court.”

Former Mason women’s player Keri Chaconas, a 1996 graduate, was honored as a Legend at the A-10 women’s tournament in Richmond earlier this month. The 5-foot-9 guard is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,747 points.

Chaconas paced the Patriots to a program-record 21 wins during the 1993-94 season. She played professionally for many years in Sweden and for one season with the Washington Mystics. She is an accountant in Charlotte, N.C.

Write to Preston Williams at pwilli20@gmu.edu

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