Royce White is NBA bound

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ISU forward Royce White talks with the media leading up to Iowa State’s third-round matchup with No. 1-seeded Kentucky on Friday, March 16, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. White, a transfer from the University of Minnesota, had planned to meet with Kentucky coach John Calipari about joining the UK program, but decided against the trip to Lexington, Ky., and ultimately signed on with the Cyclones. The Cyclones and Wildcats will play Saturday night.

Jeremiah Davis

The decision was reported Wednesday morning, but Royce White made it official Wednesday afternoon: White is headed to the NBA.

After one season and a third-round exit from the NCAA Tournament, the forward from Minneapolis has hired an agent and will pursue a professional career.

“Iowa State is a special place, and there will always be a special place in my heart for this university and my experiences here,” White said. “All that being said, it’s been decided by the people I trust that becoming a professional is probably what’s best, so I won’t be returning next year to Iowa State.”

White ran through a list of thank you’s at in his opening statement to media Wednesday, chief among them was Ames and Iowa State, as well as its fans, who he reiterated “gave me my life back.”

Coach Fred Hoiberg was with White during his announcement, and the future professional called Hoiberg “an idol and a friend.”

White also said he consulted with Hoiberg early in the week, and came to the decision that a professional career was in his future.

“After me and coach talked about it and we had a conversation at the beginning of this week when we got back,” White said of discussing his future with Hoiberg. “He did his research, and I talked to people I care about and we just went from there.”

Hoiberg, a former NBA executive with the Minnesota Timberwolves, had multiple NBA contacts with which he discussed White in the days since the Cyclones’ loss to Kentucky.

The second-year coach mentioned a number of reasons why White is a fit for the NBA, and said the people he talked to liked what they saw in the Tournament.

“After this weekend I talked to those guys a lot and they saw what he did on the national stage,” Hoiberg said of talking to people around the NBA. “He did it against so called No. 1, No. 2, No. 6, No. 12, No. 14, and he was a dominant player on the court.”

White said he is currently finalizing a deal with an agent and will begin his preparations for the NBA draft immediately.

When asked what’s next, White put it simply and with a smile.

“Work,” White said. 

Check back at iowastatedaily.com for more on White’s departure to the NBA later today.