ISU's White Projected to Be First-Round Selection in Thursday's NBA Draft
By Rob Gray, Reporter
AMES — And with the 21st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select …
ESPN reporter/analyst Chad Ford’s sources suggest that will be the case once that selection rolls around during tonight’s NBA Draft broadcast on the same network.
But Iowa State’s versatile one-year wonder could go sooner.
Such is life for the 6-foot-8, 265-pound White, who shatters stereotypes, rolls with the scattershot general hype and last season led the Cyclones to their first NCAA tournament berth since 2005.
“It’s been good,” White said last week of the pre-draft process. “It’s been fun and exciting. A bit of a roller coaster.”
So was White’s one season in Ames, but in a positive way.
There were no legal issues, which he faced during an ill-fated stint at hometown Minnesota.
And there was plenty of attention — from local and national media — allowing White to spotlight his battle with anxiety and mental illness, offering hope to others who face similar issues.
There also was a sterling statistical season (except for free throw shooting), with a team leading 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and five assists per game.
“Iowa State’s a special place and there will always be a special place in my heart for this university and my experiences here,” White said when announcing his intent to enter the draft after his sophomore season. “One, beating the (Iowa) Hawkeyes. Two, the (Kansas) Jayhawks. And (three), making our way back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.”
Now White’s poised to tread into previously uncharted territory — a dream 21 years in the making, but one that shares space with aspirations to greatness in music, filmmaking, storytelling and who knows what else.
“He’s a talented kid,” said another ultra-talented former Cyclone, Craig Brackins, who’s searching for a new team this off-season. “Big. He’s NBA-ready already.”
So the second stage of White’s remarkable journey from pariah to paragon continues Thursday— in Boston or elsewhere. And an all-consuming will to win transcends any partly misconstrued fear of flying.
“Whatever the highest prize is, that’s what I want to win,” he said during the season. “Even when you’re at the carnival and you play musical chairs, I’m always one or two or three, because I want to win. Musical chairs. It doesn’t matter what, I just want to win.”
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