Aug. 16, 2011
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — With his team trailing by one and seconds remaining, the ball was passed to incoming freshman Aaron White near the sideline. White dribbled past his defender and lifted a driving finger-roll lay-up that bounced around the rim before falling as the horn sounded, giving his team a 100-99 championship in the Prime Time League (PTL) last month.
“Making that shot definitely put an exclamation point on a great summer in Iowa City,” said White. “It felt good to play a solid game and make the winning shot.”
White is one of three basketball newcomers this year for the Hawkeyes. The Strongsville, Ohio, native finished his career as his high school’s second all-time leading scorer and averaged a double-double his senior campaign with 23.1 points and 10 rebounds per contest. White enjoyed his time in Iowa City this summer and believes his time in a new environment helped in the transition from high school to college come this fall.
“It definitely was a good experience being able to take a couple classes, and play some pick-up games and summer league basketball,” White said.
Hawkeye fans who watched PTL basketball this summer saw White improve and his potential. White knows he is going to have to work hard to earn minutes on this year’s team, and after playing in the PTL he has gained confidence heading into fall practice.
“I came into the summer league to prove that I’m going to compete for minutes on this team in the regular season,” said White. “I believe I showed that I can compete with guys at the collegiate level. This experience gave me some added confidence so when I come back in August for practice, I’ll be ready.”
Standing at 6-8, White said one of his strengths is his ball-handling, which he proved on the game-winning basket.
“At the collegiate level, with my size, I can really take advantage of my ball handling skills,” said White. “I can take guys off the dribble. I think each game I got a little better. I felt good with my handles in the last game and was able to take my defender on the last play and score the winning basket.”
White traveled back to Ohio a couple weeks ago to spend time at home before returning to Iowa City. The 225-pound small forward couldn’t wait to get back home to see his parents and friends, but can’t wait for school to start.
“As much as I want to go home and see my parents and all my friends, I don’t want to be there long,” said White. “I’m eager to start working with the coaching staff, start practice and get into the season.”
During his time back in Ohio, White is committed to working on his strength and conditioning and improving as a basketball player.
“I don’t think I’m going to take a day off when I go home,” White said. “I have a trainer back home that I work with. Rusty Burney (Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach) gave me a workout and I’m going to continue lifting and doing my skill work on the court.”
White acknowledged that throughout his entire high school career he didn’t lift many weights.
“Once I signed my letter of intent to play at Iowa I knew I needed to get stronger,” said White. “After my senior season I really began to hit the weights. During my four years, I never really lifted so this is all new to me. I’m enjoying the experience. Rusty and my teammates have provided great support.”
White, who was his team’s MVP his junior and senior seasons, has truly enjoyed getting to know his new teammates.
“Workouts and playing with the guys have been great in building team chemistry,” said White. “All of my teammates have helped make my transition a smooth one. I’m excited to be a Hawkeye and I’m looking forward to us having a successful season.”