Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 11, 2012

Hope for a healthy new year

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

"We're hoping he can be the missing piece," Mihalich said. "The guy that can give us a presence inside, catch the ball, make layups, defend his position and rebound his position. ... That position has been lacking."

In his debut game Saturday night, White had four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes and clogged the middle of a zone defense that held UB's Javon McCrea, as good a post player as Niagara will see all season, without a field goal.

White played in 93 games over the past three seasons and averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.2 mpg for a LaSalle team that won 21 games last year. He was regarded as a defensive stalwart in the Atlantic 10, a bigger league with bigger players than the MAAC.

Having lost his starting spot at LaSalle to Jerrell Wright, a McDonald's All-America nominee who was named the Big 5 Rookie of the Year after last season, White faced a decision upon graduation in May. Stay at LaSalle and be a practice player who also apprenticed with the coaching staff, or transfer to a school in a smaller conference and play big minutes in his senior season. He also considered playing professionally overseas.

After he decided to transfer and Mihalich began recruiting him, White, a North Philadelphia native, took a look at Niagara, on strong recommendation from friends Bilal Benn and Charron Fisher. He also reached out to the Philly players on Niagara's current roster, Juan'ya Green, Ameen Tanksley and Scooter Gillette, and an incoming recruit, Tahjere McCall.

"They told me how hard they worked and how much they wanted to win," White said. "I wanted to win too. I put one and one together."

"Another thing," White said, "I liked the city, the Falls, and all the coaches I felt comfortable with. Coach wants me to work as hard as possible and he wants me to be a winner and come here and help build the program back up and get us back on that winning track."

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