Congratulations Brittany!!!!

Butler chooses LSUE

By Tom Dodge

    Brittney Butler, center, signs an offer to play basketball at LSU at Eunice. Joining her in the ceremony are from left, LSUE head coach Michael Bari, Butler and North Central principal John Murphy. Standing are North Central athletic director Herb Lamb and head basketball coach Vanessa Taylor.

LEBEAU - North Central basketball star Brittney Butler left her mark on the Lady Hurricane program with a Sweet 16 appearance, and scored more than 1,500 points in her high school career.

Now she will get the chance to display her talents on the college hardwoods as a member of the LSU at Eunice Lady Bengal basketball team.

While head coach Vanessa Taylor will miss her senior leader, LSU-E head coach Michael Bari is excited about the Lady Bengals' future with Butler on the squad.

"Brittany possesses great outside shooting and that was something that we lacked this year," the LSUE coach said. "She has the desire to play and is able to defend. That will be a plus for her.

"I can see her as a one or two guard for us. She will be in the mix with a number of young players, and if she works hard over the summer, she should be fine."

Butler is excited about her future as a college basketball player

"I really wanted to play basketball somewhere," she said. "I am happy with my accomplishments here at North Central."

Butler averaged 19.8 points her senior season, was the District 7-2A MVP for the defending champion Lady Hurricanes and was named to the first team All-St. Landry roster.

Butler, averaged double digit scoring, led the team in assists and was second on the team in rebounding behind freshman Val Harris.

Butler scored a season-high 30 points as the Lady Hurricanes cruised to a 74-26 victory over Opelousas Catholic.

The 2005 District 7-2A champions with a perfect 14-0 record, North Central shared co-district titles with Pointe Coupee Central last season after being runners-up in 2003 and district champs in 2002.

"I had to work at my defense," Butler said of her high school career. "Offense came natural to me."

Bari is entering his second season as Lady Bengal head coach with plenty of local talent to build his program around.

North Central's Butler joins other area Lady Bengal signees Lindsay Andrus of St. Edmund and Jamien Arvie and Renotta Edwards from Ville Platte.

"I am excited for Brittney," Taylor said of her star player. "She has all the potential in the world and she will be a great asset to their program. She said she needs to work on her defense, but she does a better job on defense than she thinks.

"She has leadership qualities and she is excellent in getting along with everybody. She should be a good college basketball player. She handles the pressure late in a game really well. She can hit the free throws when we need them. She is a threat outside but she can also work inside and get the rebound."

North Central athletic director Herb Lamb also praised Butler's accomplishments and the opportunity to play college basketball.

"She deserves the opportunity," Lamb said. "She scored over 1,000 points by her junior year and was a part of the 2002 Sweet 16 team as a freshman.

"She has great ball handling skills, she shoots the ball well and she has a big heart. I think she will do well at the next level."

Butler plans to major in business management, but also take care of business on the court for the next two seasons as a Lady Bengal.

Originally published May 11, 2005