Reporting by Diane Roberts, 9 Sports
WASHINGTON (WUSA) — Devin Butler plays wide receiver, corner back and kick returner for Gonzaga College High School. He was recruited by a number of Division I colleges but chose Notre Dame. He says he loves to get lost in the game.
“It’s an escape for me just be on the field away from everybody else.”
Football was just the escape Devin needed back in October of 2008 when his older brother, Darius, was shot five times on Georgia Avenue.
“There are people who got shot one time and died. He got shot five times and lived.”
Darius is alive, but is paralyzed. He isn’t bitter and continues supporting Devin, going to every Gonzaga game.
“I like watching him play … he’s good it’s fun watching him play, cheering him on and letting everybody know he’s my little brother,” said Darius.
“I feel like I’m playing not only for myself but for him too. He likes to say he walks through me,” said Devin.
When Devin looks over at his brother he sees someone who has persevered.
Head coach Aaron Brady sees a chance for his players to learn a life lesson.
“It’s inspiration to Devin but also [shows] our team just how important that bond is between those two and it also lets our kids know life can be fleeting … your time and this game teaches you take advantage of the the opportunities you have in life,” said Brady.
Darius didn’t give up on his dreams. While recovering from his gunshot wounds, he started writing a rap song, one his little brother listens to before taking the field. The lyrics read: “Just last week I had a thought about giving up. I was getting weak and my problems they was getting tough … stuck in this chair there ain’t no giving up.”
“For My Health” is Devin’s favorite song, written by his best friend, brother and the man who inspires him to succeed.