OKC Thunder: Thunder's UConn trio enjoying the Huskies postseason run

He’s been with the team less than a month, but Caron Butler has already spread one of his favorite sayings across the Thunder locker room: ‘Just when you think you can’t, UConn.’
by Anthony Slater Published: March 27, 2014

He’s been with the team less than a month, but Caron Butler has already spread one of his favorite sayings across the Thunder locker room.

“Just when you think you can’t, UConn,” Reggie Jackson recited with a friendly eyeroll.

An example of Butler’s rare ability to capture the ear of his teammates. But also an ode to the school he once starred and still loves.

Butler is a proud member of the University of Connecticut fraternity. He played there from 2000-02, winning Co-Big East Player of the Year and leading them to the Elite Eight. And he remains among their proudest fans, a vocal supporter of the current Huskies squad, which has made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 as a seven seed.

UConn faces Iowa State on Friday night in New York.

“I’m excited for them,” Butler said. “They continue to shock people and prove people wrong.”

On arrival in Oklahoma City, Butler found some familiar faces, a pack of former Huskies who share an affinity for the program.

Backup center Hasheem Thabeet was a star at UConn from 2006-09, the defensive anchor for a Final Four team his junior year. And he was part of one of the greatest college games in history, compiling 19 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks in the six-overtime marathon against Syracuse in the 2009 Big East Tournament.

And right after Thabeet left, Jeremy Lamb arrived. The Thunder’s second-year guard was an immediate contributor for the Huskies, averaging double-digits in both his seasons, which included a national championship in 2011.

“It’s UConn,” Lamb said. “We do what we do.”

Even though the trio never played college basketball together, they still share a unique bond. A UConn brotherhood that stretches beyond eras.

Every summer, a ton of the former players get together for an alumni game in Storrs. They meet the current team, share stories with each other and reminisce about life.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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