White will debut for Sixers against Celtics

Forward Royce White takes a shot before the Rockets game in New Orleans. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
Forward Royce White takes a shot before the Rockets game in New Orleans. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
Posted: October 12, 2013

Before the 76ers left for nearly a week to play two games in Europe, one of the players who made a favorable impression at training camp was Royce White.

The 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward was acquired in the offseason from the Houston Rockets. But White didn't make the trip to Europe. He has a well-documented anxiety disorder and an aversion to flying.

White will make his preseason debut Friday when the Sixers meet the Boston Celtics in a 7 p.m. preseason game at the Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.

"I look forward to playing Royce tomorrow," Sixers coach Brett Brown said Thursday after his team's first post-Europe practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

White had indicated that he would be able to go on the European trip. "We just had a collective talk as an organization and decided it was the best thing for me to stay here," he said.

Houston took White, a former Iowa State star, with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He did not play in the NBA last year. He played in 16 games for the Rockets' NBA Development League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

White had mixed emotions about missing the trip.

"It was bittersweet," he said. "[Going to] Spain, obviously, being around my teammates and things like that, there is good in that, and with things I deal with from a mental-health standpoint, there is bad. I was kind of bummed at some points while they were gone and at other points I was glad I didn't have to make the flights."

White, 22, said there is no long range-planning when dealing with his disorder. He said things can change quickly with the way he feels.

"It can be one day you are feeling one way and the next are feeling another," he said. "We are taking it game by game."

From a basketball standpoint, Brown remains intrigued by White's skills.

"He's got a part of his game that is extremely creative, and you have to let him create and see what he does, and from there figure out what will help the team and tap into it," Brown said.

Evan Turner, who averaged a team-high 22 points in two games in Europe against Spain's Bilbao Basket and the Oklahoma City Thunder, has high praise for White.

"He seems kind of big, but he's quick off his feet and knows how to make plays," Turner said. "He has a pretty good basketball IQ and obviously from the four position [power forward] he can go both ways, he can shoot threes and pass and he is pretty legit."

There is one area where Brown would like to see White improve: conditioning. "He has to get in great shape and that is non-negotiable," the coach said.


 

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|