Paul White is a 6'-7" 189 pound small forward who is beginning his prep career at Whitney Young high school. The wing has great measurables and an enormous amount of potential for such a young player. He has visited Illinois and already received a scholarship offer.
Many times in recruiting, making a good first impression can be most important. Illinois has done that with White. It was the first school to step up to the table with a scholarship offer. That stands out in White's mind.
"Right now I have an offer from Illinois. I have letters coming in, but that is basically it."
Whitney Young head coach Tyrone Slaughter confirms what his freshman says. He has been in this game for a long time. He knows that when a team offers a scholarship, it means business.
"Illinois right now is the one school that has made an offer to him. He is getting mail from other schools, but that means nothing until someone comes in and says we would like to offer you a scholarship."
White has recently visited the Illinois campus for Midnight Madness festivities. The atmosphere and fan support of the Orange Krush and all the Illinois fans made quite an impression on the youngster.
"The campus and fans up there are something else. They are very passionate about their basketball. That is always a plus to see an environment that is so passionate about one thing. It was fun going there and seeing all the dunk contests."
Some high profile freshmen such as current Illinois wing Jereme Richmond like to get the recruiting process out of the way early. White says he is enjoying his first year of high school and is taking the recruiting process in stride. It does not sound like he will be pulling the trigger on an early commitment as he says he does not have a timetable for his decision.
"No. Not really. I am just enjoying my freshman year, and I am probably not going to deal with recruiting this whole year. I'm just going to let the letters stack up and let my family decide from there."
The Dolphins always play a challenging schedule. They opened the season against one of the top prospects in the state of Indiana. It gave White the chance to see where he wants to be when he is a senior. He says the season is going well.
"It started off pretty well coming in as a freshman on varsity. The first game was against Lew Wallace. I played against a real good player in Branden Dawson."
Slaughter is easing White into high school basketball. He is playing limited minutes for the varsity as well as participating on the sophomore team with Jahlil Okafor.
"Paul and Jahlil have both played both sophomore and varsity. They are having stellar sophomore careers. With that we are allowing them the opportunity to just play at the high school level."
In limited minutes, White is also impressing college coaches and scouts with his play on the varsity level. Slaughter says it is still a learning process for his freshman forward.
"At the varsity level Paul played a little bit (lately). He played pretty good. He didn't score like we would like him too. We want him to be more aggressive. I think as the year goes on he is going to get a lot more confident with where he is on the floor, and his skill set is really good. I think he is going to be able to help us out."
White has a high level of athleticism. He has a smooth looking jump shot and overall perimeter game. His length will allow him to be a great perimeter defender. The explosive small forward has unlimited upside!
Whitney Young's front line of the 6'-7" White, 6'-9" Okafor, and 6'-9" Tommy Hamilton is going to be a nightmare for teams in Chicago to defend. Illinois is dreaming about the possibility of having that be its frontline down the road. With the priority the Illini have placed on White, they are positioning themselves well. But it will be a long race to secure his services.