Ex-NBA Player Finding Success In Canada
Royce White was drafted into the NBA by the Houston Rockets in 2012. He was sent to the D-League where he averaged more than 11 points and 5 rebounds a game. Eventually, the Rockets traded him to the Sacramento Kings and on March 23, 2014, he took his first shot in the NBA. White ended his NBA career going 0-1. There has been some speculation as to the reason for White’s departure, though he discredits the misinformation being spread and stands by his convictions.
White suffers from mental health issues, specifically general anxiety disorder. It has plagued him throughout his basketball career, going as far as back as his college days at Iowa State. White’s disdain for the NBA arose when he learned of their inattention to mental health diseases. He looked into the league’s collective bargaining agreement and found there was little to nothing in terms of policies protecting players with mental-health issues. This prompted him to leave the league that he once aspired to play for.
At the time of his departure, White says misinformation began spreading about his being upset with playing in the D-league, having issues with airplane travel, etc. He has dismissed all of these false reports and adopted an “anchor for truth” mentality like that of Muhammad Ali and Ghandi. White believes that the NBA pretends to care about mental health issues because the science has found enough limelight to warrant a response, though in actuality they do little for their players with diagnosed illnesses. He even went so far as to send a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver with questions on the league’s mental health policy. Despite this letter, written in tandem with 6 of White’s doctors, there was no response.
White spent some time away from the sport after his NBA exodus, but eventually returned to the game he loves through the London Lightning. White received the league’s MVP Award, something he considers a nice recognition, but in the grand scheme of things does not care too much for. He says basketball is a team sport and his team-first mentality has stuck with him since his early playing days.
After taking about half the season to catch up on his conditioning, he helped lead the Lightning to a 35-5 regular season record. They swept the Orangeville A’s in the first round of the postseason and completed another sweep of the Windsor Express in the second round. Coming off a 15-game winning streak, the Lightning will take on the defending champion Halifax Hurricanes in the final round.
White’s story is inspirational, so it is no wonder that fans have taken a liking to him and the team. Bettors have also taken a liking to the team due to their recent success. Sports betting is possible in Canada through licensed offshore providers and bettors will be keen to ride the lightning’s success into the championship round.
As far as White is concerned, he has found his home in Canada with the Lightning. Whether the NBA does anything to step up their mental health policies is up to them, but White is content with the support he has found.