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UNC’s Coby White declares for the NBA Draft

UNC’s freshman point guard is expected to be a lottery pick in this year’s draft.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament- Iona vs North Carolina Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In news that is not really a surprise to anyone who has watched his name climb mock draft boards, UNC point guard Coby White has declared for this year’s NBA Draft. White came into the season not really expected to be a one-and-done player, but he settled into the role nicely and had a brilliant freshman campaign that catapulted his draft stock into the conversation for a lottery pick.

White committed to UNC just three days after Roy Williams offered him a scholarship, and his dynamic play throughout the season earned him a place in man Tar Heel fans’ hearts.

Here is the press release from UNC:


CHAPEL HILL – University of North Carolina freshman point guard Coby White, a second-team All-ACC selection, is entering the 2019 NBA Draft.

“First, I want to thank God for everything he has blessed me with, including the ability to live out my dream of playing basketball,” says White. “This season has taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to play at UNC with a group of guys that have truly become my brothers for anything. These past 10 months have been the highlight of my basketball career and I’ve grown so much on and off the court. Thank you is not enough to show my gratitude to the best coaching staff. They pushed me and the entire team to be the best players we could be. I want to thank my brothers who I stepped in between those lines with me every day. The growth we experienced by coming together, not only as team, but a real family made this year unforgettable. I know for certain, I can count on all of them no matter y’all boys! Thank you to the fans that supported and motivated us through the wins and losses.

“I’ve always had a dream of playing basketball in the NBA and with that being said, I’ve decided to enter the 2019 NBA Draft. This year, this school, this experience has prepared me for the next phase of my basketball journey. Again, thank you! Carolina will forever be my home! I will forever be a Tar Heel! This is not a goodbye, but until next time. Go Tar Heels!”

The Goldsboro, N.C., native averaged 16.1 points and 4.1 assists, made a UNC freshman record 82 three-pointers and shot 80 percent from the free throw line. He had the fifth-highest scoring average ever by a Carolina freshman in leading the Tar Heels to 29 wins, a share of the ACC regular-season title with a 16-2 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Midwest Regional. He led UNC in assists and was second on the team in scoring, three-pointers and free throw percentage.

“I just loved every minute of coaching Coby,” says UNC head coach Roy Williams. “He committed to us prior to his junior year, so even though he played one season as a Tar Heel, we’ve known his family for a long time. It’s been an honor to have gotten to know them. His father (who passed away prior to White’s senior year in high school) told me he wanted his son to play for me, which is one of the neatest compliments I’ve ever been given. Coby not only played for our team and for himself, he played to make his father proud, and he certainly has accomplished that.”

White scored 552 points, the fifth most by a freshman in Carolina history. He became the first UNC freshman to score 30 or more points three times in a season (34 vs. Syracuse, 33 vs. Texas and 33 vs. Miami) and was the first Tar Heel to make six three-pointers in consecutive games (vs. Syracuse and at Clemson).

“Anyone who follows the game knows Coby could always put the ball in the basket,” says Williams. “You don’t set the North Carolina high school scoring record without being a great scorer. But I also gave him the ball and asked him to run my team. And he did that very well. He gave our fans and our team many thrills this year and accomplished things that only a few players his age have ever done. He is one of the most exciting young players in the game. I am going to enjoy watching him play at the next level.”

White was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors five times, a figure surpassed only by former Tar Heels Tyler Hansbrough, Brandan Wright and Sam Perkins. He was one of four players to be a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given by the USBWA to the national freshman of the year.

Here is Coby’s post from Twitter.

The comments above certainly sound like someone who has their mind made up about the next steps, so it would be a surprise to see him not hire an agent. It likely means that he’s already put a period on his time at Carolina, which certainly makes sense based on where his name is being discussed in the draft.

Best of luck to Coby at the next level. He’s definitely made some fans for life in his time in Carolina blue.