It’s pregame before the Westchester Knicks take on the Wisconsin Herd. Andrew White III is getting up shots like he does before every game, along with working with Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Atkinson.
The only difference is a new setting. The third-year guard is at the County Center in White Plains, New York. He spent his rookie season with the Maine Red Claws then signed a two-way contract with the Atlanta Hawks. As part of the two-way deal, he spent time with Atlanta and the team’s then-affiliate the Erie BayHawks.
“I was just really excited just because I had been given an opportunity to play at that next level,” White told Ridiculous Upside. “I was thankful even after I got there. I was just doing the best I could. Atlanta put me in a good situation to play and I was able to knock down some shots and do some good things, so it was definitely great for me.”
He had a solid debut where he recorded 15 points and two rebounds on 3-of-7 from beyond the arc in 16 minutes off the bench. The 6’7” forward went onto play in 15 games for the Hawks and received an opportunity to show that he could do at the NBA level.
He learned a few things about his first experience in the NBA; lessons that the forward plans to use to catapult him to his next opportunity in the Association.
“I just found ways to continue to kind of dust myself off,” White said. “Get up and keep going. In this league and just in general, there are a lot of discouraging days. It’s a lot of people that are trying to get that same spot and the same opportunity, so been a lot of downs in it and I just continuously find ways to pick myself up.”
The third-year forward competed with the New York Knicks in Summer League. The team wanted to get a further look at him and acquired his returning rights from the Maine Red Claws. He detailed what brought him back for a third season and what he is looking to prove in Westchester.
“It was just an opportunity with a new organization under the New York umbrella, which something that was good to me,” White said. “I got an opportunity to workout in preseason with some of the Knicks people. Went to Summer League with them, so I just wanted to kind of see it out before I did the overseas thing. The opportunity has been good so far and I’m grateful.”
White comes to Westchester with a vast amount of experience. He played at a high level in three top Division I conferences (Big 12, Big Ten and ACC), suited up in the NBA, and sharpened his skills in the G League for three seasons. White believes using his experience to his benefit by eating healthy and sharpen his skills in his free time.
“Just taking it with a grain of salt,” White said. “Just being not too high not too low. Just using my experience to understand that it’s very important to make sure that I’m eating healthy. Making sure I’m taking care of my body and resting and then using the little bit of free time that I can to sharpen up all my skill work, so that when I go into games that I’m good and I’m in rhythm and then just relying on scouting and preparation to make sure that I’m prepared for that game.”
The Knicks forward had a fantastic start to the 2019-20 season. He scored 30-plus points in two straight games, while shooting 16-of-20 from beyond the arc. His nine triples made against the Greensboro Swarm tied a franchise record and his 39 points is fifth most in Westchester’s history.
He has been known for his perimeter game going back to his junior season at Nebraska. The Syracuse alum shot 40-plus from beyond the arc in four of the past season, which includes his junior and senior collegiate seasons.
Through the first 11 games of the 2019-20 season, White is shooting 52.5 percent, which is seventh in the G League with a minimum of five games played, from three on 5.5 attempts per game. White attributes his early success to opportunity and getting good looks from deep.
“It’s just situation,” White said. “Opportunity and preparation meets and some of the previous games I have just been in a good situation where I was getting looks. I was kind of out in space. I feel like when I’m in that position and I’m going to play very efficiently and help the team.”
On Jan. 5, players can be signed to 10-day contracts. Through the early portion of the 2019-20 season, White has been a player that has seen success in Westchester. While he could be a candidate for an NBA call-up when that period opens, he isn’t getting too caught up that.
“I don’t get too caught up in it,” White said. “I just prepare myself the best I can. Just try to make the best of my situation, so that’s all that is to me. Obviously that doesn’t happen for another month, so I have to be good leading up to that point, so just try do the best I can, prepare, and keep doing what’s got me up to this point.”