Oklahoma City Thunder Spotlight: DJ White

Greg EvansCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

RALEIGH,NC - MARCH 21: D.J. White #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers celebrates on court against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the 1st round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 21, 2008 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DJ White was selected 29th in the 2008 NBA Draft, and was sent to (what is now) Oklahoma City in a Draft Day trade. He has spent this whole season on the bench because of a benign growth on his jaw.

After months of recovery, he might suit up for the first time against the Raptors on Friday.

The Tuscaloosa, AL native was a dominate force in college basketball during his stay at Indiana. According to his biography on iuhoosiers.cstv.com, he was unanimously named Big Ten Player of the Year and All-Big Ten First Team, he was named to numerous Second Team All American lists, and he was on the list for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.

DJ White finished his career ranked 16th in points scored, ninth in career rebounds, second in FG percentage, and was the first person to average a double-double since Alan Henderson in 1994 (iuhoosiers.cstv.com).

These accolades lead to high expectations for DJ White when he reached the NBA. His dream to play in the NBA was stalled for almost five months because of the benign growth.

Despite this set back, White continued to work out as much as he was allowed. When he was cleared to play by the team doctors to play, the Thunder's management sent him to play with the D-League team in Tulsa.

According to an AP press release, White averaged 17.3 PTS and 9.7 REB in three games with the 66ers before he was recalled.

If White is able to play, he will be able to supply Oklahoma City with defensive presence at PF. White can come off the bench and provide the Thunder with the defensive spark that they've needed at the PF position.

DJ White has the ability to be a vital role player for Oklahoma City and when he gets back to his playing weight he will be the force in the paint the Thunder have been looking for all season.


(Stats from NBA.com and AP)