Coby White has had plenty of doubters in his basketball career. Especially since he arrived in North Carolina. Some said he wasn’t any good. Others said he might be serviceable with a few years of work. He responded to them by breaking a freshman record for scoring in 2018 and getting drafted 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls this past June. He believes in his ability and is ready to take on any challenge people throw at him.
That said, it’s not like the kid doesn’t have admirers. There are quite a few in fact. Some of them in the highest NBA circles. One of the most notable is 9-time All-Star and almost certain future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. He was one of the primary people who helped White ascend from high school through North Carolina and into the pros via the CP3 Basketball Academy.
He made it clear to Darnell Mayberry and Gina Mizell of The Athletic that he has high expectations for the 6’5 point guard.
“I know what he’s capable of,” White’s mentor and future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul said. “But sometimes he’s so hard on himself. That’s just because he wants to do well. But the sky’s the limit for him, because he’s going to work hard.”
“He is my family,” Paul said of White after watching his third Summer League game from a courtside seat inside the Thomas & Mack Center. “He’s a tough kid. He’s been through a whole lot.”
Coby White wouldn’t be the first standout from the camps
Paul’s camp isn’t exactly a hotbed of NBA superstars but it has lent a significant assist to the careers of quality future pros. Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray attended it, as did former NBA champion Harrison Barnes. Both players have had productive careers thus far. This bodes well Paul knows what he is talking about when recognizing guys who can play and play well in the league.
There have been early signs of what White can be. In five Summer League games, he led the Bulls with 15 points per game while also collecting 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists. His ability to run the floor with speed and energy is something that undoubtedly excited the team. If he can improve his decision-making as a passer, this talented Chicago offense may finally start to realize its potential.