White Excited To Live His Dream

On May 25, Kendall Marshall welcomed Stilman White to the North Carolina family the best way he knows how -- through Twitter.

Marshall, who has accumulated almost 23,000 followers and tweeted almost 2,500 times, is into the social networking website, you could say, and he wanted White to be, too. So he and his teammates talked the newest member of the Class of 2011 into setting up account and then introduced his followers to White with this tweet:

UNC Fans go follow incoming FR pg @Stilwatawhite aka "The Stormin Mormon" haha

Having a Twitter account might not be part of the initiation to Carolina basketball -- after all, Harrison Barnes still doesn't have one -- but it's the closest thing they have to a secret handshake. And though "The Stormin Mormon" only has just under 1,000 followers, he's quickly adapted to the personality of this team. He's visited to play pickup several times and also started contacting his future teammates.

White will take his next step into the Carolina family in the coming week when he moves into his dorm for the second summer session at UNC. He'll share a suite with P.J. Hairston, James Michael McAdoo and Jackson Simmons.

"It's just been real exciting but it's also a little nerve racking because I'm going to be living by myself for the first time," White said. "But I'm also real excited because I get to start living my dream."

White said the family atmosphere of this year's team has made his transition easier. When he visited Chapel Hill to play pickup last week he said the biggest thing that stuck out was how much fun the team had and how they were just normal college kids.

"A lot of them had chances to leave and play basketball professionally for money and they all wanted to come back," White said. "That just shows me how much they love being in Chapel Hill and how great of an experience it is. So it just gets me even more excited. It looks like the life to have."

On the court, White said he fit in, too. After getting over his Smith Center jitters with an air ball, he settled down and found his stroke.

"Most of the time on offense we just gave Harrison the ball and got out of the way but I actually shot OK," White said with a laugh. "I realized I can play with those guys. … It just made me way more excited to go up there."

White said the biggest transition for him was adjusting to the speed of play. Normally, White is easily the fastest player on the floor but in the pickup game he had to push himself to keep that title.

"They're impressive physical specimens," White said. "The speed is unreal, especially with how big they are. It was fun though."

As a point guard, White also enjoyed competing against Marshall and appreciated the nuances of his game. From how he uses a ball screen to how he dribbles in traffic, Marshall is a point guard's point guard according to White.

"For how young he is, he's mentally like a veteran," White said. "He's very impressive with how smart he is and how crisp and hard he throws passes. That stuck out."

White will likely back up Marshall next season and chose an appropriate number for a backup point guard at Carolina. Like Quentin Thomas, the backup on the 2005 championship team, and Larry Drew, the backup on the 2009 championship team, White will wear the No. 11 next season.

"I've been wearing it since I was in seventh grade so I'm sticking with it," White said.

With graduation from Hoggard this week, White said he plans on fitting in as many trips to the beach as possible before he heads to Chapel Hill. White said he'll miss his family and friends but is looking forward to starting the next chapter of his life.

"It's sad but I'll have my teammates up there and I'll have a new set of friends," White said. "And I'll still see my old friends. I'm just real excited to be up there. I'm not worried about that much."

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