Overwhelmingly, for the 450 men who play NBA Basketball in the U.S., their success can be attributed to the family members who sacrificed to get them where they are today. But one of the league’s star players had a tough childhood, yet overcame the odds to become the family man he never had for a role model.

Two-time NBA All-Star Caron Butler grew up on the mean streets of Racine, Wisconsin. He didn’t have a father in his life, and was exposed to every illegal vice there was, and drawn in by the allure of it all.

It was a judge who cynically believed the youth to be nothing more than a menace to society who lit a fire inside him.

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“That’s a straight-up insult… I wanted to prove the doubters wrong,” said the man who left prison behind for a 15-year career as an NBA player. “People make mistakes. I try to take the positive route as much as possible.”

He told his story in a moving video to the National Basketball Players Association for their #EverydayDad campaign. The campaign celebrates fatherhood and to seeks to provide inspiration for fans to celebrate their own relationships with their dads and their kids.

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Butler said he grew up with a void in his life that made him vow to be the best father he could be: “Being a dad means everything, because this is what it’s all about: planting the right seeds in your kids and watching them grow.”

As much as he tried to steer his son J.C. away from professional basketball, he adapted to it no matter what. Now, his dad focuses on positive feedback for his athletic son, and is a loyal presence both on the court for J.C. and in the lives of his other children.

(WATCH the inspiring video below) – Photo released by NBPA

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