UNSUNG HERO

by | Jun 10, 2022 | General | 0 comments

(Derrick White and coach Ime Udoka)
Born on July 2, 1994, in Parker, Colorado, Derrick White has been a key member of the Boston Celtics championship run this season. Since the trade deadline, White joined from San Antonio, where the coach of Boston Ime Udoka was an assistant for the better part of 7 years.

When Derrick joined he wasn’t lighting up the nights scoring 20+ points and having 5+ assists a game. To be completely honest, White was on thin ice with a 3-point shot make percentage of around 30%. This however was turned around in the playoffs and now he has been 6th man of the playoffs.

(Derrick White)
Trading for White meant that Boston gave up Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and a couple of 1st round draft picks (2022 & 2028). Derrick White’s first game in Boston saw him finish with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, showing that he could be a “bit-part player”.

The 6’4″ shooting guard then miraculously developed his game in the second round of the playoffs knocking ’em from downtown like it’s nobody’s business. This is shocking for someone who has a 3-pt % of 30%, but stats didn’t matter there. In game 1 of the finals, the Celtics battled from 14 down to win by 12 with White hitting 5-of-8 (62.5%) from beyond the arc.

(White scoring a 3 over G Jordan Poole)
Some, or most people don’t know that coming out of high school, Derrick had no offers from prestigious colleges after sending tapes to over 50 schools. He had one offer from Jeff Culver, then head coach of NAIA school Johnson and Wales. In a moment of good luck, Culver took a job at Division II University of Colorado, where he brought White over on a scholarship deal.

After three years, White became the school’s all-time leader in points and assists, being promoted to Division I. This move transformed him into a great prospect, averaging 18 PPG, 4 APG, and 4 RPG, making him the 29th overall pick to San Antonio in 2017.

(White competing for University of Colorado)

The reasoning for his sudden transformation in the postseason could be the “dad effect”. In the Toronto Raptors’ title win in 2019, Point-Guard Fred VanVleet had his son born and he moved from an average player to a key reason they beat the Warriors.

Before the birth of his son, Derrick White averaged just over 6 points with a 24% three-point shot. After Hendrix, that points tally doubled (12.7) and he caught fire from deep (43.8%) making him an offensive weapon. The 27-year-old has stepped up in a way that others weren’t expecting, now having the Warriors wondering what to do.

This may be a stretch because of the talent Boston has in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. but Derrick White may be a good shout for finals MVP. Think about it. Even though Jaylen Brown is who is remembered for the comeback in the 4th quarter of game 1, Derrick White hit decisive shots, created decisive plays for others, and even did some defensive work against Jordan Poole.

He may not be a starter but if he has two more games as he did in game 1, then he cannot be ignored any longer. This is a great underdog story, from no college offers to a key finals player, a true unsung hero. #ALLABOUT18

(Celtics players around coach Ime Udoka)
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Well, I am 18 years old currently undergoing my Bachelors of Science in Media and communications. I'm currently in my first semester and I would like to be a sports analyst in the future. I am also from Jamaica. I would like to work at one of the biggest sports companies in the world (ESPN/SKY/BT) but everyone needs a start and I would love it if you were to give me that start.

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