Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Royce White hopes his admitted fear of flying won’t cost him in the NBA draft

(Getty Images)

Iowa State forward Royce White is projected to be a first-round pick in Thursday's NBA draft, but there have been concerns he could fall all the way into the second round in part over — of all things — a fear of flying.
Though White is rumored to have a guarantee that he won't fall below the Boston Celtics (who are working with the 21st and 22nd picks in the 2012 draft), a dip into the second round could mean suffering the disparity between signing a four-year deal guaranteed at around $6 million in total, or a non-guaranteed two-year deal with a starting salary of about a third of the probable $1.2 million White would make in his first year if he were selected by Boston.

White flew to many games this past season for Iowa State but drove to some contests with his grandfather, including games against Missouri and Kansas State, and the team's NCAA tournament contests in Louisville, Ky., over 600 miles away.
The fear of flying is part of a larger anxiety disorder for White, who has also admitted to struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and uses medication to control both.

White led the Cyclones in five statistical categories last season and was a First Team All-Big 12 performer while displaying a charming personality. White has refused interviews leading up to the draft as many believe he has been promised a selection by the Boston Celtics at the No. 21 spot if he's still on the board. That means White could end up in the same frontcourt as future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett on a team that was recently one game away from the NBA Finals.
So while White's anxiety disorder may cost him money in the short run, it ultimately could lead to an ideal landing spot.
And nothing sounds better for someone who hates flying.

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