Coby White: Ready to Work

In case you weren't sure, Coby White is good at basketball.

“Check that,” Woody Durham might say: Coby White is very good at basketball.

During the annual Millbrook Winter Showcase on Saturday, White scored 46 of Greenfield School's 76 points (15-25 FG, 5-11 3PT, 11-12 FT), a showcase record, not to mention grabbing 12 rebounds and a steal while dishing out four assists.

In the first half, White scored 22 points; in the second half, the aggressive defense, double-teams and full-court presses came, but Roy Williams' prized five-star signee scored another 24.

"Big time players show up at big time moments," White said. "I live for those moments."

White will see and play in plenty of high-intensity situations as a Tar Heel: a match-up in front of some not-so-nice fans at PNC Arena, a Saturday night showdown in the Smith Center against Duke and, perhaps, a survive-and-advance meeting in late March, but - for now - White thrives under the lights presently shining over him.

After an opponent threw down an impressive NBA 2K-style alley-oop off the backboard, the crowd roared, prompting White into action. He grabbed the inbound pass, got out into transition and, at mid-court, launched his own lob up to teammate Elijah McCadden, who slammed it through the hoop.

Recalling the play, White could only smile. 

Photo by Allison Schaefer

Photo by Allison Schaefer

Early in the final quarter, White and co. found themselves down more than 20 points, but the future Tar Heel took over. Play after play, he slashed through the opposing Garner Magnet defense, cutting the lead to 12 before the nature of the high school game, which is played without a shot clock, allowed Garner Magnet to end the run. 

"As a coach, you want your best players to be your hardest workers," head coach Rob Salter said of White and McCadden. "There's no doubt these two guys are." 

White's skill sets - scoring, speed and athleticism - should transition nicely to Williams' run-and-gun offense, but his attitude will get him onto the court. 

"I bring a lot of energy to the game," White said. And he played every minute during the showcase game. "[I] just come in ready to work and get better." 

White will likely compete for time at both guard positions, and don't be shocked to see him find substantial minutes come November 2018. Williams and his staff love to reward hard work, which we have seen in recent UNC history through impact freshmen such as Marcus Paige, Justin Jackson and even Andrew Platek. 

Though White's arrival will coincide with Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson's departure, the six-foot-four-inch combo guard should bring plenty of optimism to Chapel Hill.