By Antonio Curro - NY2LA Sports
March 10, 2008
One of the hottest prospects in the Class of 2009 has seen his recruiting stock soar over the past year with monster performances on the basketball court and as the high school season began 6'7" F Royce White of Minnesota was one of the most talked about Class of 2009 prospects in the country for his ability on the court. After a whirlwind past few days, he is again one of the most talked about prospects in the country, except this time it's for what's happening off the court after he was dismissed from De La Salle (MN) High School last week. In a private one on one conversation with me last night, White discussed his recruitment, De La Salle, and the whirlwind that was last week.
AC - First off, how are things with you right now, I know it's been a tough couple of days?
RW - It's been tough but I'm hanging in there right now.
AC - Let's talk basketball first. What's happening with you on the recruiting side?
RW - It's been pretty crazy. Lots of schools have shown interest this year.
AC - Who's offered so far?
RW - Minnesota, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Cincinnati, Miami (FL), Arkansas, Seton Hall, Arizona, USC, Xavier, Texas A & M, and Virginia
AC - Anyone else showing interest?
RW - North Carolina, Kentucky, Marquette, Texas, and Purdue.
AC - Have you taken any unofficial visits yet?
RW - Yeah I've been to Minnesota, Iowa State, Wisconsin, and Texas A & M
AC - Any thoughts on when you plan on narrowing the list down or making a decision?
RW - I was just talking about that with my family today. I think I'll probably meet with the people that support me and talk about narrowing the list down maybe before the spring season starts. I'll probably make a decision when the summer season is over.
AC - Are you playing with Howard Pulley again this spring?
RW - Yes
AC - What's the biggest difference you see between grassroots travel and high school basketball?
RW - The biggest difference is that the spring is more competitive and when you play a team they have all good players as opposed to just one or two. In high school sometimes they'll run a silly zone at you or something like that. That happens in the spring but not as much, it's more straight up where you go head to head and find out who's better.
AC - As a player what do you think your biggest strengths are that you can bring to a team at the collegiate level?
RW - Hardwork and versatility. I'm the type of guy that'll do whatever it takes to get the job done on the court.
AC - What areas are you focused on improving right now?
RW - Expanding the range of my shot, adding strength, and improving my footwork on the court.
AC - Let's switch gears a bit. Obviously the basketball side is continuing to move forward with spring approaching, but I want to talk about the past few days. You were dismissed from De La Salle last week correct?
RW - That's correct.
AC - I don't want to get into the specifics of what happened but in a nutshell what went down?
RW - I don't have any excuses. Last week I made a stupid mistake that I'll regret for the rest of my life. It's one of those things that I wish I could go back and change but I can't and I let a lot of people down.
AC - Did you think you would have an opportunity to stay at De La Salle when everything went down?
RW - I was given a chance to speak to the Board of Review with my family present and afterwards they contacted my mom and informed her that I would not be welcome back at De La Salle.
AC - How did you feel when you heard that?
RW - I wish I was still there. I have a lot of respect for the people there and it was a place I felt would allow me to achieve the goals I wanted to achieve. It's a school of high principles and standards and unfortunately, I made a stupid decision that didn't meet those standards.
AC - Did you have a chance to talk to your coach when everything happened?
RW - We had a game that night so I didn't talk to him until the next day. He's still in my corner and a big supporter of me. He's one of the people I trust and I'm really sorry that I let him, my teammates, and the school down.
AC - Did you talk to anyone else like college coaches, friends, etc. about what happened?
RW - Yes
AC - What was the general consensus from them?
RW - They all agreed that I made a mistake and need to grow up, use this as a learning experience, and move forward.
AC - What are your thoughts now as you look back on things that happened at De La Salle?
RW - It hurts me a lot that I had to part ways. De La Salle had a great tradition and a general community sense that was really supportive and fun to be a part of, and that's not just basketball wise. I had a great relationship with my coach and I'm really sorry that I let so many of the people there down who supported me over the years. It's a mistake I wish I could take back but obviously I can't so I'm just going to have to move forward and get back on track.
AC - Anything you'd like to say to the people at De La Salle?
RW - I just want to wish them the best of luck. I have the utmost respect for the school, the coaches, my classmates, and my teammates. I have no hard feelings towards any of them. I made mistakes and let them down. Even when I had to sit out earlier in the year, that was on me. I acted with immaturity and I just really want to apologize to all the people there and tell them that I regret what I've done and wish them the best of luck.
AC - Anything you'd like to say to the people who've supported you?
RW - Yes. I've let a lot of people down with my actions last week. My family, coaches, friends, classmates, teachers, teammates, and other supporters have always been in my corner. I owe all of them an apology and I'm very sorry that I let them down.
AC - Anything else?
RW - I'm just going to work hard to get things turned around and become the best person I can be. I'm young and have made some mistakes but I plan on moving forward to prove that I'm not that type of person. I want to thank everyone who's supported me and hopefully I'll be able to make them proud again very soon.
AC - Thanks for your time Royce and best of luck to you.
RW - Thanks.
He certainly says all the right things, so maybe he will use this experience to grow and become a more mature person. Then again, he says exactly what you would want him to, so it could be good coaching. We shall see.