Book Review: Tuff Juice

Caron Butler’s autobiography, titled Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA, has received high praise since its publication in 2015.  Mark Wahlberg, who was granted the rights to adapt the book into a film, said, “this story is as good, as dramatic, and as inspirational as any I’ve dealt with in my professional career.”  A foreword by Kobe Bryant, wherein Kobe introduces his friend and former teammate as a man of great dedication, sets the tone for Caron’s journey.  Tuff Juice takes readers to the basketball star’s hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, where drugs and violence dominate life on the streets.   With over a dozen arrests and nearly a year spent in a correctional facility before age fifteen, Caron’s draft into the NBA seemed nothing short of a miracle.  Thanks to the unwavering love and support from his mother, Caron managed to escape the crime-ridden streets of Racine, get back in school, and join a local AAU basketball team.  He eventually transferred to a prep school, Maine Central Institute, where he played alongside several others who went on to play ball in college and at the national level.  Caron played Division 1 college basketball under head coach Jim Calhoun at UConn, where he led the Huskies to the NCAA Elite 8.  In 2002, Caron entered the NBA draft as a lottery pick where he was chosen 10th overall by the Miami Heat.  Miami teammate Dwyane Wade calls Caron “an unbelievable role model,” who “turned his life around and set a shining example for others.”   Having read the book in our company-wide book club, we can attest that Tuff Juice is a must-read that offers what Los Angeles Times calls “a unique point of view on the pressures players experience on the court.”  Congrats on a great book, Caron! We are excited to see what’s next.