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Royce White not in Rockets camp, deals with anxiety disorder

Oct 3, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

Royce White AP

Royce White’s anxiety disorder was well known around the time of the draft and it scared a few teams off. White has the potential to be a quality point/forward in the NBA, but he also has a fear of flying as part of the disorder. He’s a big man with real ball handling skills and quickness, but that fear can paralyze him.

And it seems to have done just that — as of Wednesday he has not yet arrived at Rockets training camp, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The Rockets would not elaborate. Asked when he expected White to join the team, coach Kevin McHale said, “I have no idea.”

Rockets GM Daryl Morey went with the public statement released to the media rather than take questions.

“We are committed to Royce’s long-term success, and we will continue to support him now and going forward,” he said.

Fear of flying is less than ideal for an NBA player who spends a lot of time during the season moving around the country. But White had been out at the Rockets facilities for workouts and even joked around about it at a season ticket holder event, the Chronicle reports.

Houston brass clearly can’t be thrilled that a first-round draft pick rookie can’t be in camp, but it’s also a situation where they want to be sympathetic and help him find a way to deal with it.

A number of bloggers — including our own Matt Moore, writing over at CBS — have talked about their own anxiety disorders and how it can disrupt your life. It’s great writing that provides real insight and context to the story.

White is not a head case, he has an illness. To suggest otherwise is callous and ill-informed.

But teams knew about the disorder going into the draft, he talked about it with anyone who asked. There was a risk, this was it. All the Rockets can — and what they should — do is support him. Hopefully the Rockets end up with a quality player out of it.

  1. slippyal2 - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    He needs to man up, or find another profession.

  2. mjasper24 - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    ‘man up’ is a term often thrown out by the primitive north American dbag.

    • jjordannba - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Nothing wrong with the term “man up”. Maybe just not in this situation

  3. kirschmania - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    He can be a headcase AND have an illness. I should know, I’m from Minnesota. I’m pretty sure he screwed our program.

    • danielcp0303 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Was he too good at everything? If I recall, he was the best in every category on that team

      • mnsportsfan - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        If I recall he never played a minute for the Gophers. Not sure how you can be the best in every category on a team he never played for.

  4. money2long - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    you have to feel for him and what he’s going through because you realize that this condition is getting in the way of a DREAM. it’s just tough. hopefully he continues to find ways to cope and improve.

  5. verytalldad - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Royce “BA Barracus” White

    Itll be interesting to see all the ways they trick him into getting on the plane, plenty of old A-Team episodes to give them ideas.

    Sucka!!!

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