North Carolina freshman guard Coby White will declare for the 2019 NBA Draft, both he and UNC announced on Wednesday.
Once thought to be a multi-year starter for the Tar Heels, White’s draft stock skyrocketed as the season progressed. He started 35 games for UNC at point guard and quickly turned into a dynamic scorer in his only season in Chapel Hill.
“First, I want to thank God for everything he has blessed me with, including the ability to live out my dream of playing basketball,” said White in his statement. “This season has taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to play at UNC with a group of guys that have truly become my brothers for anything. These past 10 months have been the highlight of my basketball career and I’ve grown so much on and off the court.”
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) April 3, 2019
White averaged 16.1 points per game this season, second on the team only to senior Cam Johnson. White became the first UNC freshman to score 30 points in three games this season with 33 points against Texas on November 22, 33 points against Miami on February 2, and 34 points against Syracuse on February 26.
With White leading the offense, Carolina turned into one of the most dynamic teams in the nation. The Tar Heels swept Duke in the regular season before earning a No. 1 seed during the NCAA Tournament. White finished his college career by scoring double digits in the tournament against Iona, Washington, and Auburn.
For his efforts, White was named to the All-ACC second team and All-ACC freshman team.
“I just loved every minute of coaching Coby,” said UNC head coach Roy Williams in a statement. “He committed to us prior to his junior year, so even though he played one season as a Tar Heel, we’ve known his family for a long time. It’s been an honor to have gotten to know them.
“His father (who passed away prior to White’s senior year in high school) told me he wanted his son to play for me, which is one of the neatest compliments I’ve ever been given. Coby not only played for our team and for himself, he played to make his father proud, and he certainly has accomplished that.”
Current draft projections have White as an early first-round pick and ESPN ranks White as the No. 10 available player.