Former UCCS athlete reaches new heights in NBA career

     Seven years ago, NBA star Derrick White started his college basketball career at UCCS. Five years ago, White was drafted to the San Antonio Spurs as a guard. Now, he begins his next NBA journey as a defensive combo guard for the Boston Celtics.  

     White attended Legend High School in Parker, Colorado where he led his team to back-to-back state playoffs in his junior and senior year. He finished his high school basketball career with an Honorable Mention All-State team and First Team All-Centennial League. White averaged 19 points per game and five assists before graduating in 2012.  

     White continued his basketball journey at UCCS where he was recruited by the UCCS men’s basketball head coach Jeff Culver, who is currently in his 10th season coaching the Mountain Lions.  

     White had a successful college career earning RMAC Freshman of the Year and the All RMAC Third Team. He set the free-throw record for a single season with 164 free throws and broke the single season scoring record for scoring 440 points.   

     His last season at UCCS brought out some of his best games. On March 14, 2015, White played an unbelievable game against Colorado School of Mines scoring 50 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, seven blocks and six steals. This game alone was his highest stat records for the 2014-2015 season.  

     After playing three seasons for the UCCS Mountain Lions, White transferred to CU-Boulder where he played his final two seasons of college basketball before entering the NBA Draft. White was a redshirt during the 2015-2016 season and played his senior year of college basketball during the 2016-2017 season.  

     At CU, White averaged 18.1 points, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game leading the team through their season as their primary ball handler. He shot 51% from the field and 81% from the free throw line.  

NBA player Derrick White. Photo collage by Lexi Petri. 

     After graduating from CU Boulder, White was drafted into the NBA in 2017 as the 29th pick. He then began his professional basketball career with the San Antonio Spurs as a guard, debuting against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 31, 2017. He went on to score a career high 14 points later in the season.  

     On Dec. 31, 2018, White broke more career highs with 22 points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in a single game. He then continued the 2018 season earning more season highs. 

     White returned to his hometown in Denver, Colorado as he played the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. They went all the way to game seven, but Denver took the lead and moved on to the second round, ending the season for the San Antonio Spurs.  

     After four and a half seasons with the Spurs, White was traded to the Boston Celtics on Feb. 10. He now begins his next journey playing as a bench guard for the Celtics. White has launched his career with Boston so far averaging 14.2 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists.  

     White has shown growth and dedication to this sport and remains widely talked about at UCCS. He continues to show improvement between all levels of his career. He has made an impact on every team he’s played for including his current team: the Boston Celtics.