Today we debut "The Verbal", which will be a series where we interview recent College Commits, get to know them better, and find out how they decided on their commitment. Thank you to Naomi White, a 2024 from Bellevue West High School and ETG Midwest Elite who recently committed to Grand Canyon University.
1. You recently committed to Coach Miller and Grand Canyon University. What were some of the final factors that led to your decision to head west and attend school in Phoenix?
First, I want to thank the coaches that recruited and supported me throughout my year. I’m really grateful for all the advice I was given to get to this point. What sold it for me when I went to GCU is even before I went on the visit the FaceTime calls and the connections I built with the coaches overtime had a lot to do with it also as soon as I stepped into to the gym, I felt welcomed, and that I would fit perfectly into their family. What solidified my initial thoughts of wanting to commit was the team dinner at Coach Millers house that showed me, this is where I belong. I was around a group of players who are competitive just like me and hate losing…even when playing card games. Additionally in terms of academics my degree goals align perfectly.
2. You just wrapped up your AAU career this season as part of a very talented group in ETG Midwest Elite. What were some of your favorite places you traveled, as well as some of your best memories on or off the court with your teammates?
I just want to say thank you to Coach Lloyd, Coach Prince, and Joe Tynon for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play with such a great team. My favorite place would probably have to be Rock Hill, South Carolina. The facility and the gym environment were amazing. It has been the furthest I’ve traveled with an AAU team through my whole AAU career. My best on the court memory was when we scrimmaged Doane. We had built great chemistry, and that scrimmage showed us what we could be and who we were. It was just a fun scrimmage altogether. Our energy was great. Everyone hit shots. It was just a lot of fun. Off the court a great memory was our pool party. After our last practice at my teammates house we were all just having fun we even made a video of all of us throwing a basketball to each other, and finishing with the reverse dunk. It’s just such a great memory with ETG.
3. You have a bit of unfinished business at Bellevue West, after falling to Millard South in the State Tournament Semifinals. What are some things you and your teammates will need to do, not only to get back to the State Tournament, but to ultimately try and make a run at the State Championship?
First, we need to win our regular season games before thinking about state, one game at a time. However, one thing we need to do to get back to state is play with a chip on our shoulder and have that underdog mentality. We also just need to believe in ourselves and continue to work hard every practice and work on the small things that will help us grow.
4. What is the best advice you could give in recruiting now that you've made your decision to younger players at Bellevue West and as well as some of your ETG teammates who are still open in the recruiting process?
The best advice I could give is to just trust your own process don’t worry about what everybody else is getting. Just stay your course and don’t compare yourself to anyone else ever. Comparison is the thief of joy. You are your own person you have your own things. Just wait on it and believe in yourself.
5. A lot of players dream of playing Division I basketball. When did you realize that was really an opportunity for you, and who were the people you sought advice from during the process?
I realized I could be D1 my sophomore year because I didn’t really play a lot my freshman year which helped me work harder and build character. The hard work paid off and I was able to earn a starting spot my sophomore year and I had a breakout season. This led to my Coach hearing from a lot of D1 colleges that were interested in me and showing a lot of love so that’s when I really knew that I could accomplish my dream and be great. During the process I sought advice from all the coaches recruiting me to help me get better and improve my game, I sought advice from my family as well, just to keep me levelheaded and help me with the things on and off the court that they saw so I could see it from a different perspective.
6. It's always incredibly difficult to earn playing time as a Freshman at the college level as a scorer. What are some other areas of your game that you believe will help you in earning playing time early in your career?
I think my defense will definitely earn me some playing time. I’m way more than just a scorer, I hustle. I have good energy and I always want to win. Will I want to play? Of course. But I’ve learned it’s not about just that. I’ll just be willing to anything my coaches need me to do to help contribute to the team and to help us be successful. I also will work extremely hard to earn some time on the court.
7. When you finally have some free time between your high school career and having to move down to Grand Canyon, are there any special things you'd like to do or places you hope to travel before you haed off to college?
With me being a military child, and all, I’ve been blessed to travel all over the world, so honestly, it would be great to relax after graduation and prepare for the next level, mentally and physically.