Future Watch: Derrick White Rookie Basketball Cards, Spurs

Future Watch: Derrick White Rookie Basketball Cards, SpursFuture Watch: Derrick White Rookie Basketball Cards, Spurs – Of the 60 players invited to the 2017 NBA Draft Combine, only one player of the group would have to use part of his first NBA contract to pay off student loans accumulated during his college career. That player is Derrick White, combo guard from the University of Colorado. The late bloomer was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 29th overall pick in the 2017 Draft. He couldn’t have found a better organization in the NBA to further his development.

White was born in Parker, Colorado and played for Legend High School as a prep. Standing only six feet tall after graduation, he was an afterthought for many college recruiters. He would eventually earn the attention of Jeff Culver, incoming coach for Division II Colorado Springs. Culver saw White as a late bloomer with star potential and offered him room and board stipend for his freshman season. Coach Culver did his research, noticing that White’s father experienced a late growth spurt in college. Could Derrick experience the same spurt?

By the time Derrick White enrolled at Colorado Springs, he had indeed experienced a substantial gain in height. Now standing at 6’4”, White used his newfound size and athleticism to become a star for the Mountain Lions. In three seasons, White started every game and became the school’s leader in points and assists. As a junior, he averaged 25.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. That year he would lead his team to a 2015 NCAA Tournament appearance and was named a Division II All-American.

White chose to transfer to the University of Colorado, a Division I school in the Pac-12 Conference for his senior season. After sitting out for one year, per NCAA rules, White excelled in his single season with the Buffaloes. He averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He would earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors and was named to the All-Defensive team.

Heading into the 2017 Draft, the only big knock on White was his status as a late bloomer. Leave it to the Spurs to ignore that noise and think outside the box. They smartly took a chance on a player with plenty of talent to exceed at the NBA level. Scouts praised White’s abilities as a shooter and versatile offensive skill set. They lightly questioned his ability to succeed as an NBA player due to his lack of experience against “elite” competition. San Antonio scoffed at those concerns, as they have a system in place that embraces and molds talent no matter how old they are or what competition they have faced in the past.

This past season, White played 17 games with San Antonio, and 24 with their G-League affiliate Austin Spurs. In 28.2 minutes per game for Austin, White scored 20.1 points per game to go along with 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. With the NBA club, he played in 17 games, averaging 3.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. He would play in three playoff games against Golden State, including 13 minutes in Game 1 where he scored seven points.

Like all Spurs rookies, look for White to age like wine. He may come off a bit raw at first, but he is surrounded by a group of talented professionals who will do everything they can to get the most out of his game. On cardboard, White flew completely under-the-radar this season and you can find a good number of his rookie cards and rookie autographs at a great value.

San Antonio might not be a top tier market for collectability, but in a league dominated by stars, that doesn’t matter. Look at what happened to Kawhi Leonard’s rookie cards once he became a star and led the Spurs to a championship. There’s a long way to go before White reaches that collectability tier, but there’s a great chance he rises up higher than where he is right now. Keep him on your radar.

Follow him on Twitter: @Dwhite921

Derrick White has some great autographed rookie cards in the market. They can be found in 2017 Panini Contenders Collegiate Draft Picks Basketball. As a first-round draft pick, collectors can be assured to find NBA licensed rookie cards of White in the complete portfolio of 2017-18 Panini NBA basketball card products during the 2017-18 NBA season.

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Future Watch: Derrick White Rookie Basketball Cards, Spurs
James Gale