Derrick White returned to the Parker Fieldhouse, but it was much different than it was years ago. White, a 2012 Legend High School graduate, was back in his hometown, where the San Antonio Spurs' NBA …
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Derrick White returned to the Parker Fieldhouse, but it was much different than it was years ago.
White, a 2012 Legend High School graduate, was back in his hometown, where the San Antonio Spurs' NBA standout held his Derrick White Basketball Academy July 26-29 at the Fieldhouse near downtown Parker.
“I was here all the time, working out and playing,” White said of his former Parker venue. “I did a lot of things here. I was in (the Chauncey Billups Summer Basketball Academy) one year and coached it a couple years.”
White's own academy, under the director of former University of Denver coach Marcus Mason, attracted 160 participants and was for players ages 6-17.
He had plenty to tell the players at his academy because it was his hard work, perseverance and a growth spurt which helped him become the 29th overall selection in the 2017 NBA draft.
His message to the campers was simple.
“Just keep working, believe in yourself and find a way,” he said. “I love basketball so I just kept playing it. Find something your passionate about, keep going, have fun and enjoy it. It is cool because you can meet new friends, new people and people from different backgrounds. That's a special thing about basketball.”
As a youngster, White was in the Ponderosa attendance area but instead went to Legend, which was coached by Kevin Boley.
He was 5-foot-6 as a freshman but grew to 6-foot-2 as a member of the Titans' first graduating class and is now 6-foot-4 as a guard for the Spurs.
White was overlooked as a high school senior and had to walk on at Division II University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where he played for three seasons and was an All-American.
He played his last season of college basketball at CU where he was an All-PAC 12 first team selection and was named to the five-man PAC 12 All-Defensive team.
White took time to offer advice to all young players.
“Just stay with it, one day at a time, try to get better each time, stick with it and believe in yourself,” he said.
He played most of the 2017-18 season in the G League but saw action in 17 NBA games. He averaged 9.9 points a game the next season and scored at an 11.3 clip during the 2019-20 season, when he had a career-high 36 points against the Nuggets on April 18, 2019. He averaged 15.4 points, 3.5 assists and 0.7 steals a game last season
White was the MVP of Major League Baseball's All-Star Celebrity softball game held July 11 at Coors Field in Denver.
He still has a fondness for Parker.
“My parents (Colleen and Richard) still live here,” he said. “It changes every time I come back. It's growing a lot.”
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