After refusing an assignment to the D-League and being suspended as a result, Royce White finally hit the court Tuesday in his first game for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Developmental League.
The 16th overall pick scored seven points and recorded eight rebounds and four assists in the Vipers’ 139-122 win over Maine.
White, a former Hopkins High School standout and Golden Gopher, was reinstated by the Houston Rockets from his suspension in late January.
The All-Big 12 selection last year and 2009 Minnesota Mr. Basketball had been in a gridlock with the Rockets over how the organization would accommodate White’s fear of flying and overall mental health. The two parties finally came to agreement on Jan. 26 and his suspension was lifted.
White’s fear of flying and obsessive-compulsive disorder is well-documented in the media and he is very vocal about the subject on social media. In an interview with Grantland, White claims his OCD habits started when he smoked pot once as a 16-year-old.
At 6-foot-8 and nearly 260 lbs, White is a unique power forward who averaged more than 13 points a game last season while notching nearly nine rebounds and five assists per game for Iowa State last season.