On Aug. 20, the Phoenix Suns announced the signing of former 2010 second-round pick Terrico White. After White was drafted by Detroit with the 36th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, he also had stints in the NBA D-League and overseas. I was able to catch up with White covering from the beginning of his journey, to now.
RidiculousUpside.com: What was it like hearing David Stern announce your name during the 2010 NBA Draft?
Terrico White: Man it was a blessing. As a kid it was dream to play in the NBA or just play pro ball. My dream came true and I got to play in the NBA. When my name got called, I shed tears and was so happy.
RU: In the first preseason game you fractured your foot which ultimately kept you out for the entire season. Being so young at just 20-years old, how were you able to handle the process of not being able to play?
TW:It was tough. That was my first major injury since playing basketball. Going through it was really tough, but the Pistons coaching staff and training staff really helped along the way. It was my first NBA game and I was pumped to play and for something like that to happen was just crazy.
RU: After being released by the Pistons and a short stint with the Hornets and Stampede, you took your talents overseas. What did that experience do for you both as a player and a person?
TW: It really matured me and brought me back down to reality. I was living the dream playing in the NBA. I was only 20 years old coming into the league and wasn’t mentally prepared at the time. I had to go away and mature off the floor as a man. Me being over there, there isn’t a whole lot to do besides play basketball and that helped me a lot.
RU: You played in Serbia, Turkey, Israel, and Russia. Which country do you feel really helped elevate your game?
TW: Serbia and Israel because they let me handle the ball and let me play my game. As a result we were winning games and getting to the final four.
RU: Where have you been training this summer and what part of your game are you really trying to improve?
TW: I’ve been in Memphis and leave for Phoenix Sunday to start working out there. I've really been working on ball handling and shooting. Working on a lot of pick and roll situations and really just trying to touch up my overall game.
RU: Phoenix recently lost Gerald Green to Miami this summer. You’re both similar in the sense of having elite athleticism. Could you see yourself filling a similar role as Green?
TW: I’ll take any role Phoenix wants me to fill. If they want me to be a defensive stopper I’ll do it. If they want me to knock down shots, I’ll do that. Whatever it takes.
RU: What do you want to prove to the Suns’ coaching staff that you deserve a spot on the final roster?
TW: I want to prove I’m not that same 20 year old that came into the league. I’m a hard worker. I know what my skills consist of, so my main thing is to go in there and work extremely hard and show them that I’m ready to be in the NBA.
White has been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get back into the NBA and live out his dream that was cut short because of his foot injury, and the Suns may be just that. The 6'5" high-flyer is determined to earn a spot on the Suns' official roster.
Last season White played for Enisey in Russia averaging 11.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He will be competing with other shooting guards including Eric Bledsoe, Archie Goodwin, and Devin Booker, all of which are guaranteed a roster spot. That doesn't matter to White. This is another chance to be a part of the best league in the world, and he's out to prove to everyone that he deserves his spot.
If White doesn't make the final roster, he could be sent to the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League to continue to polish his skills with hopes to get called back up by the Suns. He could become a versatile contributor and elite athlete that the Suns lost on the wing this summer in Gerald Green.
Wherever White ends up, he's guaranteed to bring hard work and determination along with his exciting skill set.