Royce White the former Iowa State star was picked 16th overall by the Houston Rockets. While most analysts raved about White’s versatility, he dropped down the charts due to an anxiety disorder he has faced since he was ten years old. Now White tells ESPN.com that he wants the Rockets permission to travel to some games by private bus.
White’s anxiety level significantly rises when flying in the sky, but in professional sports the sky is a team’s best friend. It’s part of the process, and is the most effective way to transport a group of individuals from one NBA city to another.
White claims that traveling by bus will help in his battle with anxiety. It will create consistency, and will ease the rigorous stretch of flying that White will forcibly face.
“What it’s going to look like is every game that’s drivable, I’m going to get a bus for myself,” White said. “And I’m going to make that bus feel like home so that there’s a level of consistency in a job where inconsistency is very apparent because of the schedule. I’m going to try and level that out and make sure that my stress levels stay low and that my rest is regular and that my meals are regular and that as much as I can, draw consistency from a very inconsistent schedule. …
“People with mental illness, one of the most important things is that they have that consistency and routine. The girth of (my request) was, ‘Can I travel by bus to close enough games?’ ”
While this request is being placed, Royce White is missing valuable training camp time with the Rockets. It makes you wonder why the Rockets and White didn’t iron all this out immediately after he was drafted. This may have been an idea that White became comfortable with recently, but with limited time remaining before the season starts, the Rockets now have a new issue to deal with.
“We are committed to Royce’s long-term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward,” said Daryl Morey, Rockets general manager, through an official statement released by the team.
White has been extremely open with his anxiety disorder. Article after article has released, and “Grantland” has taken a prime focus with White’s situation by even releasing a mini documentary chronicling the day he got drafted by the Rockets.
White is clearly smart enough to recognize that this entire process may sound overblown, or even suffocating to some people, but worrying about perception is something he has dealt with in the past. His goal is to be a voice for this disorder, and use his new notoriety as a platform for change.
“I don’t really worry about that because the perception, I think, is just not valid, all around,” he said. “If somebody has a broken leg, you give them crutches. And even though mental illness is different in the way it looks than a broken leg, it’s not really different in theory. Conceptually, it’s the same thing. And I don’t think getting a bus is actually any more convenient for me. … It’s actually more inconvenient for me to take a longer trip, but for me, specifically, it works well.”
The lines of communication between the Rockets and White will have to remain open all season, and likely his entire career. The Rockets have invested time and money into Royce White, and while they will be patient with him, the progression will ultimately define the story.