Former Minnesota "Mr. Basketball" and Minnesota Gophers recruit Royce White is going to Iowa State to play basketball.
Said ISU Coach Fred Hoiberg in a prepared statement:
“I am aware of Royce’s situation at Minnesota,” Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg said in the statement. “I have talked with a lot of people who are close to him, spoken with Royce in person multiple times and feel he is sincerely committed to meeting the expectations we have for our players. On one of his campus visits, Royce also met with institutional staff both inside and outside of the athletics department and he left very positive impressions on everyone.”
White was suspended from the Minnesota team when he was arrested last Oct. 13 for shoplifting at the Mall of America and fifth-degree misdemeanor assault involving a subsequent altercation with a security guard. White reached a plea agreement on December 2 to pay $600 in fines and stay away from the mall for a year.
White led Hopkins High to the 2009 Class AAAA title in Minnesota. But his life as a Gopher was eventful for the wrong reasons.
Besides the Mall of America incident, White was implicated in the theft of a laptop from a dorm room.
Then came White's YouTube "retirement" video. This is long, and ... different.
But White is 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds (or 6-8 and 250 depending on which Web site you believe). Judging by this video, he has an inside/outside game.
"I've got to get myself admitted in school -- that might be by some online classes -- and then be a great teammate and asset to do what it takes to win every game," White recently told Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Michael Jordan's former trainer said White is a future first-round NBA draft pick. OK.
Why didn't White return to Tubby Smith's Gophers program?
"It's a 'they thing,' not a 'me thing,' " he said.
We'll see if it's a "we" thing for White at Iowa State.
“Royce has the complete package to be an impact frontcourt player in the Big 12,” Hoiberg said. “He is a physical presence on the block and he will also challenge defenders with his ability to shoot. I like his presence on the boards and he comes from a winning background.”
White retains four years of eligibility, and he is in the process of applying for a waiver from the NCAA to become eligible for the coming season. The results of that waiver are expected later this summer.
“I am very grateful to the administration at Iowa State and Coach Hoiberg and his staff for giving me a chance to attend ISU and pursue a college basketball career,” White said. “Hopefully, I can play this season and help the program.”
Hoiberg was familiar with White from his tenure in the front office of the Minnesota Timberwolves.“Royce is a highly skilled player and he recognizes the opportunity he has at Iowa State,” Hoiberg said. “He has ambitious dreams for his career and fully understands the steps, both on and off the court, he needs to take to realize those dreams.”