Rising Junior to Watch: D.J. White

We received a bunch of emails today asking us to profile D.J. White, a rising junior post player from Alabama. So, in response to the reader requests, <i>IC</i>'s Jeff Goodman spoke with both White and his high school.

There's no doubt that the Tar Heels staff has its eye on D.J. White, but UNC isn't alone – and has some ground to make up in order to land the Tuscaloosa Hillcrest (Ala.) rising junior.

White is a 6-9, 200-pound power forward who has drawn comparisons to a young Glenn Robinson. He averaged 11 points, 10 boards and 4 blocks as a sophomore last season and has been out for much of the summer after having his knee scoped.

According to Hillcrest coach Thad Fitzpatrick, a former college assistant with current Indiana coach Mike Davis at Alabama, White still needs to improve his outside shot. However, he has great footwork, soft hands and plays with a mean streak.

"He's got all the tools," Fitzpatrick said. "It's just a matter of how hard he works. He can shoot the 15 to 18-footer, but he just doesn't shoot is great right now. He plays with a fire and competitive spirit that really helps elevate his game."

Fitzpatrick said that North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Indiana were all in to watch a practice last year. Miami has also shown legitimate interest.

"Indiana, Alabama and Florida are the three schools in front," White said. "I like the style of play at Florida, I like the coach at Indiana and both the coaches and the atmosphere at Alabama."

White, who is only 15 years old, also does well in the classroom with a 3.0 GPA. He is playing this summer with Wig Pierson's Alabama Lasers and will travel to both the Nike All-American Camp and the Nike Peach Jam next month.

Even opposing coaches in the state have nothing but rave reviews on White.

"D.J. is a powerful leaper who is a smart player and seems to do everything right," said Southeast Raptors head man Mark Komara. "He's athletic, strong and can score. He won't go out and get you 30 points in a game, but he's a top five or 10 player in the class."

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