University of Iowa basketball player, Aaron White, talked with reporters Monday about his experience playing for the U.S.A. national team on its recent overseas trip. White says traveling the world and playing for team U.S.A. and with a great group of guys and coaches was a great experience.
“I wish I would have played a little better, but as a whole it was something that I really gained valuable knowledge from and am thankful for the opportunity,” White says. White says his goal is to be known as one of the best players in the country, and going on this trip will help him build toward that end.
“Obviously it comes down to how you are going to play on the floor for your school, but I think that gives you a great deal of confidence and I am hoping that after my junior year guys across the country are saying that I am one of the top players in college basketball. So, that’s the goal and this is just one step towards it,” White says.
He says one of the biggest things he took away from the experience is coming off the bench and seeing what that requires as a player.
“When you are playing and getting all the minutes, and you don’t really think of your teammates that have to stay ready, that have to stay loose and keep their mind in the game. Not saying that I’ve never done it before, but it was definately something that was hard because I haven’t done it in awhile, and I wish I would have done a little better job of it to be honest with you,” White says.
He says he learned what his teammates go through and that should help him be a better leader. Iowa will take a European trip this summer and he says this experience will help him teach teammates about how the international games are called by the officials.
“It’s different, it’s physical, a lot more physical than you would think, but it’s a weird physical. They don’t call pushes and stuff under the baskets on rebounds, but they call ticky-tack stuff up top. It’s basically like the NBA, you can’t touch the defender, you really have to body them with your chest,” White says.
Team U.S.A. finished ninth at the World University Games, finishing with a 6-2 record, including a 97-70 victory over Finland in the final round. White played 15.4 minutes a game off the bench, averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.
The 6-8 forward from Ohio will be a junior for the Hawkeyes next season.