Colorado native and CU Buff Derrick White gets drafted 29th overall by San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs took Colorado's Derrick White with the 29th overall pick of the NBA Draft

DENVER - There was a time when Derrick White was just a 6-foot guard from Legend High School with no scholarship offers from any major college. 

Fast forward five years, and the Colorado Native is a first round NBA Draft pick going to play for one of the best organizations in pro sports. 

Such is the remarkable journey of White. 

With the 29th pick Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs selected the former Colorado Buffalo--making him the 14th Colorado high school basketball player ever drafted in the first round of the NBA. 

"Not a lot of people from Parker get here," White said. "So, I'm just going to enjoy it."

Going to the Spurs might be one of the best possible landing spots for White, who now gets to play for legendary coach Gregg Popovich. Pop called White on the phone shortly after the pick was made. 

"He said that he's super excited for me to get down there, and that he's excited to work with me," White said of the conversation. "I'm excited to work with him as well."

The Legend graduate caught a break after high school when Jeff Culver--who was then the coach for NAIA's Johnson and Wales--got the job as the head man at NCAA Division II University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He had shown interest in White at his previous school, and decided to bring Derrick with him to UCCS. You can bet Culver was at White's Draft Party Thursday night. 

"That's who Derrick is though," Culver told 9NEWS. "This house (the site of the Draft Party) is full of people who have been a part of his journey."

After a growth spurt and an incredible rise in his overall game, White ended up being the second-leading scorer in the entire country by his final year at UCCS in 2015. 

It was enough to get him noticed at the Division I level, and pretty soon, CU came calling. 

This past year with the Buffs, he led Colorado with 18.1 points per game and was named to the Pac 12's All-Conference first team. 

Now, he'll join a team that not only made it to the Western Conference Finals this year, but is considered a dynasty in sports with 5 championships since 1999. 

He's come a long way since his days in the Colorado prep scene. 

"His story is such a good one," CU basketball coach Tad Boyle said. "It's been such a journey to get where he is, and the Derrick White story is not finished yet. I can promise you that."

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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