NBA Player Asks His Former High School Coach to Be His Roommate – And the Reason Why Is Heartwarming
When his high school coach lost his wife of 31 years to cancer, 7-foot Knicks center, Mitchell Robinson, proved that his heart is even bigger than he is.
High school coaches are the real MVPs. They’re not “just” coaches. They’re surrogate parents, counselors, and role models, providing support that goes way beyond the playing field.
These mentors play a starring role in shaping not just the athletic abilities of their students, but also their character and life skills.
Even when high school athletes go pro and hit the big leagues, many of them never forget the ones who stood by them, cheering them on from the sidelines, long before the spotlights and fame.
For 25-year-old NBA Knicks center star, Mitchell Robinson, his high school basketball coach had a profound impact on not only his career but on his life as well.
So when his former coach lost his wife of 31 years to cancer earlier this year, Mitchell stepped up and delivered a slamdunk — inviting the grieving man to live with him in New York so he wouldn’t be alone.
Who Is William “Butch” Stockton?
Mitchell Robinson’s journey to NBA stardom began in the hallways of Chalmette High School in Louisiana back in 2015. The story goes that Butch heard about the new “tall kid walking in the neighborhood” after Mitchell moved to St. Bernard Parish with his family.
Butch, sensing a rare opportunity, actively recruited Mitchell to attend the high school and play for his basketball team.
He coached Mitchell from 2015 to 2017. But the two bonded over more than just the game.
“Mitch was just so shy and quiet and my wife just took a liking to him a lot,” Butch told ESPN. “At first, when I told her about Mitchell coming to the school, [I said] ‘there’s something special about him, just his demeanor, and I think we could really help him later on in his life.’ And my wife said, ‘We’re definitely going to do that.’ And from that day on, my wife really became very close to Mitchell.”
And when the basketball star got drafted by the New York Knicks in 2018, Butch and his wife, Dawn, were cheering the loudest of all.
When Tragedy Strikes, Mitchell Proves He’s the Real MVP
Even after Mitchell became “one of the NBA’s #1 top shot-blocking big men” and signed a whopping 4-year, $60 MILLION contract in 2022, he still never forgot his roots.
When Dawn, 70, was in the final stage of metastatic cancer and entered the hospital in August, Mitchell never left her side. He visited her every day. After her death on September 13, he posted a heartfelt tribute on social media to the woman he called “Momma.”
And after her funeral, he didn’t stop being there for her and his former coach.
During the New York Knicks game against the Detroit Pistons last Thursday, Butch shared that after the death of his wife of 31 years, Mitchell invited him to New York to live with him.
“He said, ‘Coach, there’s no reason for you to stay in Louisiana anymore. You come to New York with me and enjoy yourself,'” Butch told MSG Network’s Rebecca Haarlow. “Get your mind back straight because you know how much you loved your wife. I loved your wife.”
How an NBA Star Is Paying It Back
Butch took him up on his offer and the two have been unlikely roommates since the start of the season.
“It’s just been a great situation, to be honest with you,” Butch said.
“He’s a great guy who helped me get to where I’m at,” the NBA player said. “So you know, I’m bringing him along with me after everything that happened over the summer. It works out for the best. I can help him out. He helped me.”
The plan is for Butch to stay until the end of the season. In the meantime, besides their obvious love for the game, the two are enjoying watching Christmas movies together and hanging out with Mitchell’s dogs.
For years, Butch was there for Mitchell, helping him to get to where he is today. And now? When Butch needs him the most, Mitchell is happily returning the favor.
“It’s the least that I can do. It’s been cool.”Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell may be the MVP on the court, but it’s obvious that he’s an even bigger one off it.
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