Catching up with former IU forward D.J. White

  • 09/08/2010 7:32 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 14:  D.J. White #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers defends against Damian Johnson #34 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 14, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2010-2011 NBA season will be important for the career prospects of former IU forward D.J. White. After battling injuries during his first two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, White has appeared in a total of just 19 games and split time between the Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers, a D-League affiliate. He’s entering the final fully guaranteed year of his contract.

White, who will be in Bloomington later this month for his second annual basketball camp, sat down with for a Q & A, which is re-published below with permission from IU:

How has your rehab been going? Are you looking good for the start of the season?

“Recovery has been fine; just take it day by day. As of right now, I’m one hundred percent. Yes, I’m looking good for the season. I’ve been working out twice a day all summer in preparation and I’m looking forward to it.”

How have you avoided getting frustrated by your injuries?

“I just try to stay positive and not get down on myself. Things happen for a reason and it’s a part of basketball.”

When was the last time you were in Bloomington, and how often do you make it here?

“I was in Bloomington in July. I’ve been living in Indianapolis all summer and only made it down twice, so not as much as I wanted to.”

Your second annual camp is scheduled for September 18th, what makes you keep wanting to come back to your alma mater to do this?

“Bloomington and IU showed me a lot of love all four years I was there and I want to do my part to give back to the community that supported me and to give back to the kids that that grew up watching me, to teach them everything I’ve learned.”

What can kids expect by coming to your camp?

“Even though it’s only one day, kids can expect to learn different skills, ball handling, shooting, different techniques, as well as have fun in competition and games.”

Have you been able to see the new Cook Hall/are you looking forward to seeing it? What were your impressions?

“Yes, I have had the opportunity to see Cook Hall and I was very impressed with everything. I feel honored.”

What has been your best NBA moment so far? Has there been any moment that made you feel, “Wow, I’m in the NBA?”

“My biggest NBA moment so far was making the playoffs this year and taking the world champions (Lakers) to game six in the first round. Yes, being on the court with superstars and future hall of famers that I grew up watching.”

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    DJ will always be one of my favorite Hoosiers

  • Fred

    DJ’s gotta be one of IU fans favorite players of all time just because of what he endured at IU, with the coaching changes & all the crap that went on during his time at IU. Not to mention he was a beast on the boards. Big fan for life…

  • Anonymous

    In my top 5 all-time Hoosiers

  • Would .love to see DJ make it and “stick” in the league. Hopefully it happens.

  • Anonymous

    Super player, teammate, and person. Would’ve loved to have his senior leadership the past two years.

  • Anonymous

    DJ deserves a great NBA career. I hope he is able to assert himself this year.

  • HoosierDavey

    How can you not love a guy that gave his heart and soul every game when most of his teammates had quit?!?! (during the Dakich tenure) I will forever be grateful and impressed by that. Thanks DJ!!!

  • Anonymous

    With few, if any, exceptions has an IU player ever went through so much, did so much and asked for so little back in return and all while enduring numerous coaching changes and injuries. Those were things that would have made most other players pack it in and call it quits or at the very least transfer.

    He was / is the exact kind of player we want to have our team made up of now and in the future.

    Good luck to you next year and there after on and off the court you deserve all of the good things that come your way.

  • kentuckyhoosier

    DJ ……. What a genuine player and person . I believe he will be ok wherever life takes him.

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    Am I the only person who always felt bad for DJ given all the bull he had to deal with at IU, especially his senior year…..I hope he gets his shot with OKC.

  • Luke72

    DJ is consistant with the traditions I’ve seen in IU players over the years. His character is the foundation he builds upon. He touches peoples life’s with a pasitive flare. At any level DJ is a winner in the game of life. His humble but confident outlook speaks well for his parents and community. Our program will turn all the negitives in to positives if we can find and help incoming
    players follow in his footsteps!

  • Anonymous

    We need a lot more DJ Whites!

  • Plane1972

    I live in OKC now and, by shear dumb luck, was in the house for DJ’s NBA debut at a Thunder game late in the season two years ago. He has the game to play in a regular rotation in the NBA. His mid-range game has gotten even better and he still works his butt off on the boards. He was very efficient. I would love to see him make it here so I can wear my IU gear to Thunder games, but if he can stay healthy I’m sure he’ll make it somewhere else. He’s just a quality guy on and off the court.

  • Casey B.

    I’m right there with ya. I think his humility, in light of the situation in which he found himself, really made me feel for the guy — especially with how consistent and dominant he was in his senior year. Instead of having the chance to shine in the tournament, he tried honorably to carry a team on his back that had already packed it in for the year.

    I will say though, I think that’s why you’ll never hear any IU say a bad word about DJ. He sure got the love from the Assembly Hall crowd on his senior night.

  • Casey B.

    If he isn’t retained in OKC after next season, I’d love to see the Pacers make a play for him. He’d undoubtedly be welcomed with open arms by the fan base.

    Or, the Pacers can keep building a roster of wife beaters and former gang members and see how that works out. So many options…

  • MillaRed

    Not sure anyone got more screwed over by Sampsongate than DJ. Not sure anyone deserved it less than DJ.

    Truly a shame. Should have been in a Final Four.

  • Outoftheloop

    I hope that Coach Crean makes a special effort to get DJ to meet the team and talk to the guys. They will never see a better mentor. Good luck DJ White, the Hoosier nation loves you! BTW Sean May was cut by the NJ Nets on 9/7. If each of the two, DJ White and Sean May held a gathering across the street from each other on the same day, which one would you attend? I will bet that Indiana fans would be 99 to 1 for going to DJ’s event. Cody Zeller don’t miss the opportunity to become an (maybe THE) Indiana Legend! It is not just where you were born but where you played your college ball that COUNTS!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the interview. DJ was one of my favorites. We all agree every IU team could use 15 guys with his attitude and heart. I am glad he continues his camp in Bloomington, the current players would be wise to spend some time with him.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if anyone saw this but it is kind of interesting. The contact period started on September 9. IU coaches went to see Robert Goff at Hutchinson in Kansas. Butler coaches went to see Zeller. Crean plans on going to see Zeller next Tuesday. The only thing we should probably read into this is that IU is very serious about bringing Goff back to Indiana.

    I haven’t seen him play since a barnstorming tour for IU recruits at Noblesville a few years ago. His athleticism is absolutely freakish and he could have an immediate impact for the Hoosiers frontline.

  • Casey

    Pretty decent article on the Plumlees/Zellers on espn. Normally like Forde, but he got pretty lazy when talking about the Plumlees leaving Indiana.

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    Casey after the collison move by the pacers, getting DJ White would be just what they need, high character guy, willing to rebound, tough, and talented….and can sell tickets. If that happened I may just go to a pacer game and stay awake this time.

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    Milla…. the summer prior to that season, I was within minutes of booking a room and air fare for the Final 4, believing that IU was a lock and willing to take that chance…..for some reason I decided to wait til the season started a little and the rest is denim shirt history.

  • MillaRed

    I can’t remember a worse experience than that as a sports fan of
    anything. Like a knife in the stomach, with a “twist.”

  • J Andrewmilliner

    I sure do miss him. What a class act.