When you were 17 or 18, and were narrowing your list of schools, it probably involved you sifting through the pros and cons of four or so places that a) accepted you and b) you may have wanted to attend.
Ends up when Andrew White III was looking to transfer as a grad student, he had 55 different offers to choose from. As you know, he ultimately chose the Syracuse Orange.
Today, Syracuse.com’s Mike Waters posted an in-depth article about White’s entire decision-making process. It’s a great read, so would highly recommend you pop over there to do so.
Some of the highlights:
Michael Gbinije led the recruiting charge
The former Orange guard knew White from their time growing up in the Richmond, Va. area. Between that and the fact that both players declared for the 2016 NBA Draft (White ended up electing to go back to school, Gbinije was drafted by the Detroit Pistons), it was easy to start up a conversation about White potentially continuing his career at Syracuse.
With Gbinije leading the way, SU assistant Adrian Autry was able to expedite White’s recruiting process to get a campus visit on the books before the Rio Olympics (since Jim Boeheim would be gone for a greater part of the summer coaching Team USA).
Putting Dad to work
Andrew’s father, Andy White, helped his son handle a lot of the inquiries and narrow down the list from that initial 55 or so. Between fielding phone calls (30-40 per day) and assessing roster fit, it sounds like the elder White had a full-time job on his hands helping his son find the right transfer location.
Once he started narrowing things down, it was less about fit and more about the timing of the decision that ultimately prevented him from landing at Michigan State and Miami, respectively.
Virginia Commonwealth, his hometown team was familiar and comfortable. But with daily conversations with Autry and Boeheim calling from Brazil, those factors appeared to even out over time.
Patience pays off
With other top contenders dropping out as their semesters started earlier, White rewarded Syracuse’s patience (and later enrollment deadline) by picking the Orange. There was no huge announcement, no cameras. Just White, his father and Boeheim at the Melo Center.
As White told Waters at the end of the piece, it didn’t seem possible:
"It was just such a tough decision. I'd over-thought it and over-analyzed it. What made that decision take so long is I thought it was too good to be true. You're coming into a program like this with well-documented coaching and well-documented talent.
You think that a guy who's had to transfer twice, you wouldn't think a place like this would be a home for a guy like me. It was really surprising.''
Again, go read the full Waters post for the rest of the details on how the Nebraska transfer ended up at SU. Practice starts today. Get excited for basketball season.