Royce White doesn´t report to Rockets camp, cites fear of flying

On the court, Houston Rockets rookie Royce White is a whirling dervish: powerful, fast and talented. In the air, he’s a nervous wreck.
White has an anxiety disorder that’s plagued him for years, and it heightens when he’s forced to board a jet airplane. The disorder, which played a role in his leaving the University of Minnesota for Iowa State after one year, is severe enough that he hasn’t reported to Rockets training camp. Instead, he’s working out an agreement that would allow him to bus to some road games.

“What it’s going to look like is every game that’s drivable,” White told “I’m going to get a bus for myself. And I’m going to make that bus feel like home so that there’s a level of consistency in a job where inconsistency is very apparent because of the schedule.”
In the interview, White calls his disorder “a mental illness” and shows the kind of self-awareness that should help him lead a productive career. His ability can’t be questioned: White averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals a game for Iowa State. The Rockets have a logjam at forward, but White’s versatility could make him an asset.
But the no-flying thing could define him. Grantland and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons dubbed White “The Guy Who’s Afraid To Fly” while lauding his upside during the weeks leading up to the draft.

White says he hopes to report in the next week, and the Rockets are willing to support him, general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement.
Now we wait for the wheels on the bus deal to go ’round.


  1. Jellybean Bryant on October 17, 2012 at 17:28

    very unfortunate and sad…he has all of the talent in the world but i think his disorder will prohibit his potential to be great in the NBA

  2. SRN on October 12, 2012 at 20:03

    Didn’t some Dutch soccer player have the same mental block?

  3. Frank the tank on October 4, 2012 at 16:06

    Needs some mental assistance

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