Milledgeville loses a legend
From schoolgirl basketball prodigy to WNBA player to a successful career in coaching, Tasha Butts always made Baldwin County proud.
Butts, 41, passed away earlier today following a two-year battle with breast cancer. Butts, Baldwin High Class of 2000, stepped away from her head coaching duties at Georgetown University back in September after her condition began declining.
Butts was the daughter of Spencer "Skeebo" and Evelyn Butts. Tasha had basketball in her blood. Both of her parents were standout players at BHS back in their day, while one of her aunts –Valerie Freeman – played at the University of Tennessee.
Tasha also played at Tennessee, back when the Lady Vols were on top of the basketball world. It was a big day back in 1999 when Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summitt came to Milledgeville and toured Baldwin High and visited with the family.
Butts ultimately played four years at Tennessee, was named a team captain, and then was drafted in the first round of the WNBA draft. Following her playing career, she went to work in the coaching profession. Prior to getting her first head coaching gig at Georgetown back in April, Butts was an assistant at Georgia Tech, among other stops.
Anderson Bentley was Butts' coach at BHS and says that Butts was always destined for basketball greatness.
"I put her on our junior varsity team when she was in the fifth grade," the coach said. "Tasha was a natural. It was obvious from a very early age that she would go far in life."
Butts never forgot where she came from, Bentley added.
"Tasha always came back and would help out with young players and help out at camps," he said. "Tasha had a heart of gold. That's just who she was. She cared about people and helped out so many people over the years."