Periodically over the summer we will check in with a quick look at former Hoosier basketball players to find out what they are up to now. Last week we updated you on Will Sheehey. Today we look at D.J. White, who played for IU from 2004 to 2008.
Former Indiana head coach Mike Davis capitalized on his Alabama roots to bring a five-star McDonald’s All-American to Indiana — and it paid off from day one.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama native D.J. 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. 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. “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. White had a monster 2007-08 senior year, averaging 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.
He 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).
You can watch his senior speech here. This was a difficult time at Indiana, as a once promising season was unraveling amid the Sampson recruiting violations. But there was no doubt that D.J. White was a true fan favorite at IU:
A PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY
Perhaps as a sign of things to come, D.J. White had an interesting night in 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 themselves 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.
Photo credit – Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman
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 has played in Spain, China, Italy and most recently in Turkey.
Hoş geldin DJ WHITE pic.twitter.com/DVeXeC8uqH
— Bahçeşehir Koleji Spor Kulübü (@BKBasketbol) December 6, 2017
White played with Bahcesehir Koleji in the Turkish Basketball League this past season. He averaged 13.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 26 minutes per game while shooting 57.6% from the field. White was a starter and key component of a Bahcesehir team that finished as the runner-up in the TBL playoffs.
These highlights are from his 2017 team in Turkey — Gaziantep Basketbol.
D.J. White will turn 32 years old in August.
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