D J White staying upbeat after surgery. D.J. White sat down in front of a group of about 200 children this week to read them a book and encourage them to read.
If he couldn’t make the kind of impact he’d hoped to have on the basketball court this season, he at least could contribute in another way.
White’s rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder was cut short when doctors discovered a growth on the left side of his jaw this preseason. It proved to be benign, but the surgery will still keep him out for most of his first year in the NBA.
“Of course it’s tough for me to sit out. I think I’m a very competitive person,” said White, last year’s Big Ten player of the year at Indiana. “Just to sit down and be sitting out when I think and believe I can help my team in so many areas, it is hard.”
White was the first player since Alan Henderson in 1994 to average a double-double for the Hoosiers. He averaged 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds and was the 29th overall pick in this year’s NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, who then traded him to the Thunder.
He went through summer league and voluntary workouts with the Thunder before the growth was found.