Former IU basketball star D.J. White had a good run on the hardwood.
Once a prized recruit of former IU coach Mike Davis, White announced his retirement from the game of basketball on his Instagram page on Monday, two weeks before his 36th birthday.
“You are never ready for it to be over, but I am ready for what’s next,” White wrote in a post he titled “Dear basketball.”
The Tuscaloosa, Ala. product thanked his wife and three daughters, his parents, teammates, coaches and agents.
“I’ve gained many lifetime friendships from this game,” White wrote. “Thank you for assisting in me being a better player and person.”
Former IU players commented on White’s post.
“Awful happy for how you always conducted yourself,” A.J. Moye wrote. “Honored to have crossed paths with you. I know God got ya covered.”
Former Indiana head coach Mike Davis capitalized on his Alabama roots to bring the five-star McDonald’s All-American to Indiana — and it paid off from day one.
White started in all 29 games he played in during his freshman season, averaging 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game during the 2004-05 season. His productivity earned him Big Ten freshman of the year honors.
But after an injury plagued sophomore season there was concern that White would transfer. Mike Davis resigned in 2006 and White indicated that he was likely to look elsewhere.
“I came all the way from Alabama to play for coach Davis. With him not here, I feel like it will be tough to play,” he said at the time. “I don’t think I’m coming back next year.”
Fortunately for Indiana, White decided to stay and play for new head coach Kelvin Sampson. He had two more highly productive seasons, including a monster 2007-08 senior year in which he averaged 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting better than 60% from the field. He was the first IU player to average a double-double since Alan Henderson in 1994.
White was voted the Big Ten’s Player of the Year by both the coaches and the media in 2008. He was also named 2nd team All-American by multiple outlets.
When he left Indiana, White was 16th in IU scoring with 1,447 points, tied for ninth in career rebounding and finished second all-time at IU in career field goal percentage (56.2).
White had an interesting night at the 2008 NBA Draft. He was drafted with the 29th pick by the Detroit Pistons and traded the same day to the Seattle SuperSonics. The Sonics were in the process of relocating to Oklahoma City.
He suffered an immediate setback prior to his rookie season with the Thunder. He missed his first 75 games as a pro because of jaw surgery and missed 11 games the next season with a fractured right thumb. The injuries contributed to White bouncing back and forth between the Thunder and their D-League affiliate.
After two and a half seasons in Oklahoma, White went to Charlotte in 2011 and had his best stretch in the NBA. There he averaged 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds and 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds over the course of two seasons while playing nearly 20 minutes per contest from 2011 to 2012.
From there the journey got more interesting, as White traded time between professional teams in China and brief stints in the NBA with Boston and again with Charlotte. His last appearance in an NBA game was for Charlotte (playing along with Cody Zeller and Zach McRoberts’ brother Josh) in April of 2014.
Since 2014, White played in Spain, China, Italy, Turkey and other stops. In his Instagram post White said he played in six countries and visited six continents.
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