It has been done before.
All kinds of players with NBA experience have played for teams in the NBL of C.
The latest installment for the league and the London Lightning seems to have more of a story attached to it.
When the Lightning announced the signing of Royce White, the 16th overall pick of the Houston Rockets in the the 2012 NBA draft, they weren’t welcoming a guy who was just trying to extend his playing career a little longer. They were adding someone in a very different place.
“At 25, I’m a young basketball player… (my career) seems like it’s been going a long time because of how long the story seems or the narrative seems around my situation.”
Four years ago, White was a top prospect coming out of Iowa State and before that, the University of Minnesota. He had massive hands and a skill set that seemed to fit any situation you wanted to play him in, but that story and narrative that he refers to first surfaced at about the age of ten. White suffers from anxiety. It may have kept him from truly getting his foot in the door in the NBA.
“The whole talk around the draft was my anxiety and whether that was going to play a factor in where I was drafted… It was an honest conversation,” says White. “Sometimes conversations don’t yield positive results for one party or the other.”
White holds no grudges. He does not assign blame. He went from the Rockets to Philadelphia to Sacramento where he appeared in three games with the Kings, but eventually, he found himself out of the NBA.
Instead of working hard on the court, he found himself working hard off the court to address the issue of mental health.
He founded Anxious Minds, which operates as a non-profit organization in Minnesota and strives to promote mental health discussions of all kinds.
White could have gone to play in Europe. He admits he had offers. But he has a five year old who just started Kindergarten and wants to be as close to him as possible.
He is working himself back into game shape and plans to be ready for London’s season opener on December 26th.
The Lightning will be holding their Yellow and Black scrimmage tonight (Thursday, December 8th) at 7:30 at St. Andre Bessette High School.