Hopkins Grad Royce White Goes No. 16 in NBA Draft

The 2009 Mr. Basketball winner will be playing for the Houston Rockets.

grad and 2009 Minnesota Mr. Basketball winner was selected by the Houston Rockets on Thursday as the No. 16 pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft.

About 250 people on hand for White's draft party at the Sukup Practice Facility in Ames, IA, rose to their feet and cheered when NBA Commissioner David Stern announced White's name.

White transferred to Hopkins in his senior year from DeLaSalle High School, and won state championships with Hopkins in 2009 and DeLaSalle in 2006. A USA Today national poll ranked Hopkins 10th in the country after its 2009 championship.

A ball handling, bruising foward, White stood out in his one year at after transferring from Minnesota following troubles. He turned his life around and became a model citizen in Ames, working with local youth and serving as a role model of sorts.

And he played for Patch.com in the YMCA Capital City Basketball League earlier this month. As part of the game, he helped raise money for Orchard Place, a Des Moines organization that assists young people with behavior problems and mental disorders.

During his only season at Iowa State, White was the only player in the country to lead his team in points (13.4), rebounds (9.3), assists (5.0), steals (1.1) and blocks (0.9) per game. 

"I was thinking I was going to slip and fall a little bit," he said following his selection. "I'm just happy, happy that it happened."

White was in an office at the practice facility when his name was announced, and acknowledged later it was because he was feeling anxious. He's worked hard to overcome an anxiety disorder.

When he emerged from the office, though, he stopped by every table and hugged every invited friend and their guests, said Derek Hannah, youth sports director at the Walnut Creek YMCA, a Patch blogger and coach and organizer of the YMCA Capital City Basketball League, where he coached White.

"It was a perfect example of Royce White and what he's about, especially doing that with all the anxiety he was dealing with," said Hannah, who also coached Barnes when he played in the summer league. 

Here's a video of White's reaction on Cyclone Fanatic.


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