By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
The newest member of the Iowa State men’s basketball program is Minnesota transfer Royce White. White met with members of the local media via a teleconference earlier today. Here’s the complete transcript of what went down courtesy of CycloneFanatic.com.
How excited are you to get a fresh start to prove yourself as a person and a player here at Iowa State?
RW: I am really excited about it. I think that all together, it is a great move for me and I am hoping to prove that it was a great move for Iowa State as well.
What other schools offered you scholarships?
RW: It was kind of a pick and choose thing when I realized that I wasn’t going to go back to Minnesota. Me and my coach talked about what schools I was interested in. I came upon Iowa State as one of them. The pieces started coming together. Kentucky and Baylor were in the final three.
How will Coach Hoiberg and Iowa State help you achieve your career goals?
RW: I want to be a pro one day. That has been my goal ever since I started playing the game. I think that Iowa State is a great platform for that. I’m not looking too far into the future. I am looking forward to getting to Iowa State and meshing with my teammates well. We want to make a run at some Big 12 championships and the rest of the goals that we have as a team.
How has everything that has happened over the last year changed you? How much have you grown up over the last couple years?
RW: I think that situations come and hurdles come and they change you as a person. I definitely think the hurdles that I overcame changed me in a way where I am very cautious about what I do on a day-to-day basis. I am very goal oriented. I think about what my goal is and what is the greatest route to get there. A mentor of mine taught me an acronym to make smart decisions. The acronym is a letter for each word obviously and it just talks about how each decision that you make, is it going towards your goal?
Did you get mixed up with the wrong crowd up there possibly?
RW: I don’t think it was that. I think that most of the time it was me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So going forward, that’s what I mean about watching my decision making. Just making sure that I am in the right places, low-risk places where things can’t happen that aren’t supposed to happen.
When you talked with the Iowa State coaching staff about everything that has happened over the past year, is that pretty much the same thing that you just told us?
RW: We talked about it in more detail. We went through everything that happened. I think that Coach Hoiberg has done a great job in understanding my situation and the things that I have been though and given me an opportunity to move forward with my career and goals at Iowa State.
Being that you were up near the Twin Cities, what have your dealings been with Coach Hoiberg over the last few years?
RW: It is funny actually. I grew up watching Fred play for the Timberwolves. We talked about that when I was on my visit there. I grew up watching him in the corner, spotting up 3’s and yelling ‘go in, go in.’ It is a privilege and is an exciting day for me to be able to play for someone I grew up watching.
What have you been doing to stay in basketball shape?
RW: I do a lot of core stuff on my own. I do a lot of push-ups and sit-ups. I make sure that my core is strong. I haven’t started doing individual workouts again because that might make it harder to transition for myself in regards to what kind of workouts they do at Iowa State and the kind that they do in Minnesota. Depending on where coach wants me to play, it will probably be the basis of what my individuals will consist of.
Have you talked with coach about what position you will play?
RW: It hasn’t been talked about too much. I am willing to do whatever the coach needs me to or whatever the team needs me to. It is the same thing that I said going into Minnesota. It is whatever the team needs me to do. I don’t have a favorite position. I don’t have a position that I would rather play than another one.
What do you need to do to be eligible this coming season?
RW: That is something that we need to sit down as a team to try and figure out, me and the compliance people at Iowa State. I am sure that there are some things that will have to be done like a petition for a waiver, the one time transfer rule and those sort of things that have kind of been tossed around for me to look into. We are just hoping that the NCAA will find that my circumstances were special and that they will let me move forward with my career.
You are still good here, even if you aren’t eligible?
RW: Yes. Ames is a great place. I came down on my official and I was just wowed. I wanted my mom to be down there to see how different the people were. I think it is just a different look for me because I live in a faster city, a bigger city. It is a lot faster place. The people there (Ames) are just a lot more personable and you can tell that they are living life in the moment, day by day. The politeness of people down there was awing to me.
How hopeful are you that you’ll be eligible next year? Do you think that is a good possibility?
RW: I think it is a great possibility. I think that my case for the NCAA is very strong, due to the circumstances that went into it. You never know with the NCAA, what they are going to do. Hopefully they will see it in my favor and I will be able to play next year. If not, I will just be on the sideline being the biggest fan and the biggest cheerleader making sure that I keep my game ready so that when I do get a chance, I can perform at the highest level.
Are you excited that you are getting the chance to continue your career somewhat close to home?
RW: That was definitely an exciting part for me, being so close to home. I am probably going to have a lot of family members visit me there and come down to games. They are already talking about buying season tickets and stuff like that. Also, just being around people that I consider already as family. There are a lot of guys down there who I know from being on the road at camps and people who were down there when I went on my visit as a freshman. Iowa State was actually the first school to offer me. Coach (Jeff) Rutter was actually the first assistant coach in my coach’s office in high school. It is funny how things work out that way.