Roughly a year ago when Coby White was a four-star recruit on the outside of the shoo-in list for players who would suit up in coveted senior year postseason all-star games like the McDonald’s All American Game and Jordan Brand Classic as well as the list of players for the ALL-USA All-American teams, he hated to hear cliché words of encouragement about his standing.
“People would always say stuff like, ‘Just worry about what you can control,” said White, now a freshman at North Carolina. “I got tired of hearing that. I was like anybody else, I wanted things to change now.”
Instead of dwelling on his desire for things to be different or how unfair his current standing was from his perspective, White said he poured everything he had into his training; roughing it through grueling two-and three-a-day workouts focused on improving every aspect of his game.
The tunnel vision approach led to him averaging 21 points per game on the Nike EYBL and 31.1 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists a game at Greenfield School (Wilson, N.C.).
He finished his career as the state’s all-time leading scorer with 3,573 points.
White was named to the ALL-USA team, made the McDonald’s All American and a Jordan Brand Classic games, and, yes, he picked up that last star to complete his five-star rating.
“It sounds cliché and it’s not always something we as players want to hear, but you really do have to forget about all the people who are overlooking you and just get better,” White said. “It’s like a mentality switch that you have to turn on. If you do that you win regardless of whether other people change their opinions or rankings or not. You win big time when you do that.”
And, yes, White already knows what you’re thinking: Easy for him to say now that he’s accomplished everything imaginable on the high school level.
“I made the decision before my last year of AAU that even if I wouldn’t have made the McDonald’s games and all that I would’ve known that I did what I could do,” White said. “And I promise you that would’ve been enough for me. If you can get there mentally, it’s gonna be scary how good you can be.”
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