During the recruiting process for Whitney Young's Paul White, the talented 6-9 senior made a point of finding the right comfort level -- on and off the floor -- before ultimately deciding on a school.
While on his official visit to Georgetown this weekend, his second visit to the Washington, D.C. campus, White felt it and made his decision early Sunday morning.
"While on my visit here it made me realize this is the place for me," says White of his commitment to Georgetown. "I felt that comfort level I was looking for with the coaching staff, the players and the environment here. It's a wonderful school with a great basketball tradition and atmosphere. This was the place I could easily see myself going to school and playing."
Georgetown became a major player in White's recruitment when assistant coach Tavaras Hardy joined the staff. The former Northwestern assistant coach had built a relationship with White prior to his move to Georgetown. White visited Georgetown unofficially in late June.
Hardy also helped land former Whitney Young star and White's teammate, L.J. Peak. Though Peak has moved back to South Carolina for his senior year, the 6-5 wing played last season with White and the Dolphins.
While on his visit, head coach John Thompson III and his staff sat White down and showed video of the player they hope he can become.
"They showed film of Jeff Green, a player they believe has capabilities similar to what I have," says White of the former Georgetown All-American who now plays in the NBA. "They showed how he excelled in their system and in their style of play."
The versatile forward, who is comfortable at his size playing on the perimeter with his terrific skill level, is ranked No. 54 in the country in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com and No. 48 by Scout.com. White has touch around the basket, can step out and face the basket out to the three-point line and is a very good passer and ballhandler for a 6-9 forward.
White enjoyed what he described as a great visit to Miami-Florida in early September and had future visits set up with Connecticut, DePaul and Minnesota. But the fit and allure of playing at Georgetown was too much to wait any longer.
Georgetown's impressive recruiting class now includes the top 100 trio of White, Peak and 6-8 forward and top 50 recruit Isaac Copeland, along with point guard Tre Campbell.
After entering high school with a big name on the prep hoops scene and spending the last three seasons playing at the varsity level for Whitney Young, White was determined to put together an impressive and consistent summer to secure his status among the top prospects in the country. But after putting up big numbers and turning heads in three Peach Jam games in July, White went down in an ugly incident, breaking his arm that put him out for the rest of the summer.
Despite the setback, White says he didn't stay down for long. In fact, he says it was minutes after the injury that he decided he was going to quickly move forward, staying positive throughout the recovery period and even calling the injury a "blessing."
"I didn't dwell on it at all," White said soon after the injury. "Really, I was over it the minute it happened. And ever since the surgery I have refused to get down about it at all.
"It's made me a stronger basketball player and person. The injury has taught me so much. I've worked on my left, but I've also changed the way I do things and look at things. I'm working on my body and I've changed my diet. Mentally it's made me stronger."
White is expected to be healthy and ready for his senior season at Whitney Young, where he will team up with the nation's top player, Jahlil Okafor, for what is expected to be the preseason No. 1 team in the state.
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