Rookie with anxiety considers leaving NBA over fear of flying, OCD

Published On November 17, 2012 | By Meredith Perri

In an interview with ESPN, Royce White of the Houston Rockets, said that he was prepared to leave the NBA.

White, a rookie who was the 16th pick in the June draft, suffers from a fear of flying and obsessive compulsive disorder, according to the Associated Press. The 6-foot-8 power forward has yet to play in a game thus far, and did not attend practice earlier this week. White has asserted that the Rockets have been “inconsistent” in helping him.

“In hindsight, perhaps it was not a good idea to be open and honest about my anxiety disorder — due to the current situations at hand that involve the nature of actions from the Houston Rockets,” White said in a statement released on Tuesday. “As a rookie, I want to settle into a team and make progress; but since preseason, the Rockets have been inconsistent with their agreement to proactively create a healthy and successful relationship.”

Houston’s general manager Daryl Morey also released a statement pertaining to White’s anxiety disorder.

“We are committed to his long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward,” Morey said.

As White alluded to, his anxiety problems were not a secret; however, the Rockets thought that he was worth the risk.

“I’m not PLANNING to quit, but if its [sic] between my HEALTH and BASKETBALL, health takes precedence,” White said via Twitter on Thursday.

The Harlem Globetrotters have reached out to White through a news release, stating that he could have a position with their team.

“I have watched from afar an incredibly gifted basketball player who has struggled off the court with a fear of flying, and I truly feel for this young man,” Globetrotters coach and director of player personnel “Sweet” Lou Dunbar said. “While we truly hope Royce can overcome his fears, and have a highly successful NBA career, I just want him to know the Globetrotters offer their support and another option to play professional basketball without a rigorous flying schedule. He could have an opportunity to play for the Globetrotters, as many of our 270 games in North America are traveled by luxury bus. As for the 150 others overseas, well, we would have to excuse him from those games.”


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About The Author

Meredith is a junior journalism student at Boston University. She has covered nearly every sport for The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper, but mainly writes about women’s hockey. Meredith has also covered Major League Baseball as an intern with SNY and Follow her on Twitter at @mere579.