White to make Sixers debut vs. Celtics

White to make Sixers debut vs. Celtics
October 11, 2013, 9:45 am
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Forward Royce White, who did not travel with the team to Europe, will make his Sixers debut against the Boston Celtics Friday night in Delaware. (USA Today Images)

Royce White did not make the trip to Europe with his teammates, but he will be with them tonight when the Sixers entertain the Celtics. And White will definitely see action.

“I look forward to playing Royce tomorrow,” head coach Brett Brown said after Thursday’s practice.

Those words were music to the 6-foot-8 forward’s ears.

“I want to be able to show that I can play, be able to get with my teammates for the first time where we can play together and not against each other,” White said. “I haven’t been on Evan (Turner), Thaddeus (Young) or Spencer’s (Hawes) team since back in the summer when we were playing open gym, so it will be good to set a screen for somebody instead of on him.”

White is an intriguing talent. He was selected 16th overall in the 2012 draft by the Houston Rockets, but because of an anxiety disorder and dispute with the Rockets over who would be charge of determining his mental health, White has yet to play in an NBA game.

He did appear in 16 NBDL games, but clearly White and the Rockets could not get on the same page, leading to his offseason trade to Philadelphia.

White initially said he was making the trip overseas for the first two preseason games, but upon further discussion with management and the medical staff, keeping White at home was thought the better choice.

“It was incredible, the understanding, the cooperation from coach and Sam (Hinkie) and the team medical staff and our sports psychologist they did a great job,” White said. “It is unbelievable how they handled it and how we were able to work things out.”

“I am with him,” Brown said. “But the reciprocal deal is that he has to get in great shape and those are non-negotiable. you weigh something or you don’t. Your skin folds X or it isn’t.”

“We need to see signs that as we continue to work with him and be patient with him, which we all are, that it is a two way street,” Brown emphasized. “That is the bottom line.”

The Sixers take on the Celtics at 7 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware’s campus -- the new home to the 87ers.