Fitness is the key to success for Brett Brown
Royce White was selected by the Rockets with the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, but never played a game for Houston last season. (USA Today Images)
Of all the moves, hires and acquisitions the Sixers made this summer, the most intriguing was getting Royce White from the Houston Rockets.
White, the wildly talented but troubled forward, was selected 16th overall in the 2012 NBA draft but never played a game for the Rockets last season. Instead, White battled a generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. White suffers from panic attacks and has had difficulty flying in an airplane.
Certainly a fear of flying is not conducive to the NBA life.
Nevertheless, the 22-year old White is in Philadelphia and will participate in Friday’s media day as well as training camp, which runs from Saturday through Wednesday.
Following training camp, the Sixers travel to Spain and England for exhibition games. It is not yet known if White will accompany the team.
In the meantime, new Sixers coach Brett Brown has been impressed with what he’s seen from the 6-foot-8, 260-pound White.
“It’s exciting to see what could happen if the physical side of getting him in great shape can collide with his talents,” Brown said during a media session on Wednesday afternoon.
White practiced briefly with the Rockets last season, but not during training camp. He appeared in 16 games for the Rockets’ D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, averaging 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25.6 minutes per game.
He played two seasons of college ball -- one at Minnesota and one at Iowa State. At Iowa State, White led the team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, earning honorable mention All-American honors.
If White is going to contribute to the Sixers, Brown’s first order of business is to get White into shape.
“He is slowly getting to a level that we want to try to bring him to,” Brown said.