White Helps Meanstreets Rule Mequon

In a loaded field to kick off the season's AAU circuit, Illinois Meanstreets defeated the Wisconsin Swing to win the 17U age division. One of the key components on the Meanstreets is sophomore power forward Paul White, who holds the University of Wisconsin in high regard.

MADISON - If the Illinois Meanstreets and sophomore forward Paul White were looking to state their claim as one of the top AAU programs in the Midwest, they wasted little time in doing so.

At the NY2LA Swish N Dish, a premier grassroots event that attracted some of the top AAU programs in the Midwest to kick off the summer season, the Meanstreets beat Wisconsin Swing to win the 17U championship Sunday.

"There were some times when I was frustrated with myself and sometimes where I was satisfied with my play out there," White told Badger Nation following the victory. "I am still trying to get situated with the team and get well known with other players on the court to see where I can help.

"I knew I could do better, but I set a high bar for myself. I felt sometimes I didn't completely reach it, but it was a good start."

Whether it be in high school or AAU, the 6-8, 210-pound White – rated a four-star recruit and the No.6 power forward in the 2014 class by Scout.com – knows he doesn't have to be the focal part of the offense.

Playing on an AAU team which also features three-star junior forward Alex Foster, four-star junior guard Kendrick Nunn, three-star junior guard Jaylon Tate and three-star junior forwards Jubril Adekoya and Moshawn Thomas, White's Whitney Young HS team also has the makeup of an all-star team with guards Miles Reynolds and Scott Kingsly working hand-in-hand with four-star junior center Tommy Hamilton and five-star center Jahil Okafor. Okafor plays for the Illinois based Mac Irwin Fire, who White's team narrowly beat in the semifinals.

"I wouldn't say it was fun, but it was funny," White said of playing Okafor. "It was a real heated battle. Sometimes I do look back and know that I play against him all year in practice and I am still trying to figure out ways how to stop him. You are playing against other people you grew up with or grew up playing against."

The Swing were making their first appearance since their makeover, as Wisconsin commit Bronson Koenig joined up with Indiana commit Luke Fischer and Sun Prairie forward Nick Fuller after playing with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors the past two years.

"They were a real good team and they were focused on the fundamentals, which a lot of teams are missing nowadays," said White. "Fundamentals were a reason why (Koenig) got recruited to Wisconsin, and he showed it. They were a real good team and we had to respect them, especially since they made it to the championship."

College coaches aren't permitted to be on the road recruiting or watching until April 20, but White certainly doesn't need the extra attention. So far, he says Arizona, DePaul, Illinois, Iowa, Florida State, Marquette, Missouri, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin have extended him an offer.

Of those offers, White says Arizona, Marquette, Ohio State and Wisconsin have been talking to him the most. And while Illinois was his first offer his freshman year, White says he holds the Badgers in high regard because UW coach Bo Ryan was the first head coach to offer him in person following a home football game last fall.

"Illinois ended up offering me a scholarship through email, but Bo Ryan was the first one to really sit me down and offer me face-to-face," said White. "That meant a lot to me. You have to respect a man that does that. That was definitely something I remember and why I value them. Wisconsin is a great school."

Citing his high school season, his offseason training and the ‘ridiculous' gas prices, White has yet to make a return trip to Wisconsin or many of the other schools on his list.

"I would like to map out a situation where I can see a couple schools on one trip," said White. "I just want to take my time. I am looking to build on my scholarship list and get to know more college coaches. I want to see how many offers I end up with this year and make my final decision after that."

With the Badgers holding three scholarships for the 2014 class, Wisconsin has offered Cliff Alexander, Kevon Looney, Okafor, Rashad Vaughn and White.

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