Royce White and His Battle With Anxiety

Anxiety hasn’t been the easiest thing Houston Rockets’ rookie Royce White. Dealing with it his whole life, he has experienced panic attacks and a dreadful fear of flying on an airplane.

Two years ago, White was enrolled at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Gopher’s basketball team. However, he never got to play a game.

In October of 2009, White plead guilty to theft and disorderly conduct at the Mall of America after he was accused of stealing and then pushing a security guard. He received a suspension and was only allowed to attend practices.

He was later he was accused of a laptop theft case on campus and he unofficially announced his retirement via YouTube but not to the athletic department. White was charged for trespassing in January and left the university for good.

After that, his anxiety got to the level that he no longer wanted to play college ball, let alone the NBA. White had the option to visit Kentucky to play basketball again but had a panic attack before his flight and failed to make it there.

White transferred to Iowa State and was denied eligibility for the 2010-11 season due to NCAA regulations. He joined the team the next year and proved himself to be a great basketball player.

Royce came clean about his anxiety disorder and made it public knowledge that it was something he dealt with his entire life. After that, everyone liked him. Not only was he a unique talent but everyone understood his childish mistakes.

In the past year, White is the only Division I player that managed to lead his team in points, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. He even led the Cyclones to their first NCAA tournament in 7 years. Clearly he was going to be great and had a lot of NBA potential.

He was considered to be a top-10 pick in the 2012-12 draft but due to his anxiety, teams were labeling him as a risky liability. White wasn’t even able to sit in the main room on draft night because it made him too nervous.

White’s agent listed off a number of teams that didn’t want him and his hopes of being in the NBA were slowly diminishing,.  But all it took was one coach to believe in him. When everyone else labeled him liability, Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets had faith.

He ended up being chosen 16th in the draft and was in complete shock. This video is a very moving one and shows you what he goes through everyday. It’s not an easy thing to deal with but he’s committed and ready for the challenge.

It’s only his first year with the Rockets but they think he has potential to become a starter with his size and athleticism. It might take him a while to get used things, but he can be a star and is already a popular player among the fans.