LITTLE ROCK — Let’s just say James White knows how to have a blowout weekend!
A highly regarded Arkansas target from the class of 2021, White (6-5 shooting guard, Conyers Heritage in Georgia, composite national No. 98 / 4-star prospect) earned all-tournament team honors at a grassroots basketball event, celebrated his birthday, and dropped his Top 12 colleges — all during a busy weekend.
Arkansas made White’s list of finalists — which he released on his birthday (Sunday) — as did Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Creighton, Florida State, Georgia Tech, South Alabama, and Xavier.
White’s emergence as a high-major prospect has been very recent. Arkansas became heavily involved in mid-June, offered White a scholarship on July 7, and sprinkled in the last four weeks were multiple virtual meetings with the Hogs’ coaching staff.
White said the constant contact and system fit are big reasons he has Arkansas high on his list.
“I feel like they have heavy interest in me, and prioritizing me,” White said. “I stay in touch with Coach Muss (Eric Musselman) and Coach (Anthony) Ruta a lot — almost every day. And I feel like they fit my play style and they feel like I fit great in their system.”
White said releasing his Top 12 on his birthday was just a coincidence.
“It just ended up that way honestly,” he said.
White put up impressive numbers — 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game — playing with Atlanta-based Game Elite 17U in the Lake Point Live Showcase grassroots basketball event over the weekend, which earned him a place on the all tournament team. It was a rare opportunity to play given the massive shutdown in sports since mid-March due to the covid-19 pandemic.
During a productive junior season at Conyers Heritage in 2019-20, White averaged 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game.
In a recent interview, White said he did not have a timeframe for a decision.
“Don’t have a date set right now,” White said earlier in July. “Shouldn’t be too far out.”
Should he ultimately end up at Arkansas, White could figure into the Hogs’ plans early as a freshman.
Arkansas will have at least three scholarships available for the 2021 class, including the departure following the ’20-21 season of grad-transfer combo guard Jalen Tate. Additionally, the Razorbacks could be looking at replacing two more big guards in a year’s time in junior Isaiah Joe (that’s if Joe, who’s currently testing the 2020 NBA Draft waters, returns to school) and freshman Moses Moody (projected by several 2021 NBA mock drafts as a first-round pick).