Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Jared Butler references Scripture as he announces return to Baylor Bears

Jared Butler, a guard for the Baylor Bears, announced in a video on Monday that he would withdraw his name from the 2020 NBA Draft and will be returning to college for his junior season.

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The 6-foot-3 guard from Reserve, Louisiana, averaged 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season as the Bears climbed all the way to the country’s No. 1 ranking.

He originally declared for the draft in April, but with the NCAA Tournament canceled because of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Butler said in his social media video that he felt he had unfinished business with the Bears. Monday marked the deadline for players to withdraw their names.

“Last season at Baylor was the most incredible season of my basketball career. Battling night in and night out with my brothers, climbing all the way to No. 1 in the country, it was truly unforgettable. But then our season was cut short. We didn’t get the chance to finish what we started,” he said.

Butler was named to the Big 12’s All-Conference first team after his standout sophomore year that saw Baylor’s season end at 26-4. The Bears would have been assured a high seed in the postseason.

Butler ended the video by announcing his decision to return: “Baylor, I’m coming back. Let’s go win a national championship.”

He also included the Bible verse Jude 1:24 in his post. The verse reads, “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy…”

Butler says in his Twitter and Instagram bios that he is a believer, and he often includes Scripture references in social media posts, such as when he initially declared for the draft. He began that announcement by saying, “First off, I would like to thank God for His amazing grace upon my life. Apart from Him, none of this would be possible.” And he closed by referencing Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

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