BUFFS

Colorado’s Derrick White will play a key role in the NBA Finals

Jun 1, 2022, 1:28 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm
Derrick White...
Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images

This year’s NBA Finals features one of Colorado’s best sports stories.

A 27-year-old from Parker, Derrick White, is playing a pivotal role for the Boston Celtics since coming over in a trade deadline deal from the San Antonio Spurs. White is a Legend High School graduate who didn’t get offered a Division 1 scholarship. All he’d go on to do was set many records in his D2 career at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, earning a transfer to the University of Colorado-Boulder.

White had an explosive season as a Buffalo, going for 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game. The Spurs selected him in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. White proved his worth in the NBA, with a skill set that Buffs Head Coach Tad Boyle refined. Those principles of defense and movement on offense has made him one of the NBA’s premier role players and a key to the Celtics’ Finals run

“It’s pretty crazy. It’s something that you dream about as a kid, watch growing up, and kind of look back on it,” White told 104.3 The Fan on Wednesday.” Going to try to think about it, but right now, I’m just trying to stay in the moment. Try to enjoy as much as I can, but understand that once the ball goes up, it’s really just basketball, and we got to get we got to find a way to get four wins.”

White is playing 25 minutes a night in the playoffs. He’s a standout defender and has had electric shooting games, hitting four threes and scoring 22 points in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. So far, White is averaging eight points, three assists, and nearly four rebounds a game over 17 postseason contests.

“The coaches told me that I looked a little passive and I kind of felt the same way,” White said about early on in the series against Miami. “I just had a different mindset going into Game 4 and then just carried it on through. Having that aggressive mindset to go out there and, and just be me and I tried to fit in or whatever that might be, just go out there and just be aggressive and I started playing a lot better.”

White will likely guard Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors best starting Thursday. And due to make $70 million over his current contract, White has come a long way since his days playing in a D2 gym.

“Definitely, when I first got in the league, I was starstruck,” he said. “I think I felt that the most when we played Melo (Carmelo Anthony.) Just growing up in Colorado and watching Melo as a kid, that was like a big moment for me. But now I’m competing against these guys. I belong here and just gotta go out there and show it.”

White is one of two Boston pro athletes from Colorado who went to Legend High School. Bobby Dalbec is in his third season for the Red Sox.

“It’s unreal to think that two guys from Parker, Colorado, are in Boston, one of the biggest sports towns in the country,” White said. “So it’s been a lot of fun.”
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