Basketball Coach: Eric Butler

Eric Butler

Program Director / Head Coach

  • UBC Thunderbirds 1992-97
  • Graduated UBC as Academic All-Canadian and Conference All-Star
  • Professional player from 1997-2005 in France (Pro B), Austria (OBL), and Germany (BBL)
  • Player development coach as Split Second Basketball Founder from 2010 to present

Developing from an unheralded (bad) high school player to a solid professional in the BBL (German Bundesliga), Eric climbed the basketball ranks by studying the game and teaching himself how to master the skills of basketball. Eric’s desire to share this hard won knowledge led to the creation of Split Second Basketball.

Get to Know Your Coach

Q: Did you play other sports growing up? Were other sports important to your development as an athlete?

A: “I loved competing and it didn’t matter the sport. I played on soccer, field hockey, football, volleyball and basketball teams…and I played many other sports with my friends. There’s a lot of overlap between sports and cross training is very important to an athlete’s development. Multi sport athletes are less likely to burn out and can learn invaluable lessons about movement patterns, angles, psychology etc from different sports.”

Q: When did you get serious about basketball?

A: “I starting getting more serious at 16 but didn’t really specialize until I was 18. Although I’m glad I played many sports, it would have been good to start more dedicated training at a younger age.”

Q: Who have been your biggest sports influences?

A: “I went to Kerrisdale Elementary School at a time when we had a full time PE teacher named Bob Baldwin. His leadership and commitment to getting students involved in extracurricular activities created an incredible sporting culture, which I was lucky to be a part of.

My coach at UBC, Bruce Enns, was a rare breed of university head coach who truly believed in player development. I will be forever grateful for Bruce’s willingness to take a chance on a very unpolished player and invest the time and energy to help me reach my potential.

Lastly, my fellow Split Second coach Joey Vickery showed me how to be a split second quicker. He showed me how important it is to be a good teammate and act with character.”

Q: What values did you learn through sport that have been influential in your life?

“Hard work, focus, resilience, dedication and persistence. A big part of why I started Split Second Basketball is that I have learned so many life lessons through sport and I want to share them with others.”

Q: Who is your favourite player?

A: “I grew up in the Jordan and Bird era and loved watching them compete. However, being the same age and knowing Steve Nash personally, I’d have to name him as my favourite player. He was the ultimate team guy who made everyone around him better.”

Q: What did the most to build your confidence as a player?

A: “Working hard, working smart. I did this consistently over time and my skills and confidence grew as a result.”

Q: What lesson are you most passionate about sharing with young players?

A: “That’s too difficult to answer! Come to one of our programs or check out the rest of the website….and you’ll see what I’m excited to share.”

Q: Favourite number/nicknames?

A: “I wore a lot of different numbers over the years. Probably most memorable was playing in number 12 at UBC for Bruce Enns, who nicknamed me ‘Butts.’”

Q: What’s your best basketball memory?

A: “I think it’s still to come. I have lots left to do in the game.”

Eric and John
UBC Thunderbirds 1996