By Jessica Robinson
After a 2021 that saw Jack White sidelined with a 12-month recovery from an Achilles injury, the 24-year-old Country Victorian is set to make his long-awaited Boomers debut at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, on Thursday, June 30.
After a year of overcoming both the mental and physical challenges that the rehabilitation process presents, White questioned if he would be able to get back to his best or tick off his dream of repping the green and gold as a Boomer.
“It was really tough, I had never gone through something like that before in my career. I had thoughts of whether or not I’d ever be the same or if I was going to achieve these goals I had set for myself or the dreams I’ve had since I was a kid. For it all to happen so quickly after that, I feel so lucky to have the people I’ve had to support me throughout that time, I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without them,” White told BA Media.
“It’ll be an emotional moment, standing with the boys in the green and gold, hearing the national anthem for the first time, after everything, it’ll be such an unforgettable and special moment.”
A key feature of the Australian lineup throughout his junior years, White further developed his game within the college system under coaching great and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Mike Krzyzewski – known as Coach K- at Duke University. He was then selected to captain the Duke Blue Devils basketball team for his final two years. Reflecting on his journey, making his debut on home soil just adds that much more to achieving his Boomers dream.
“To play on our home court, to have family and friends there after being away from home for six years and to play for the Boomers has been my dream since I started taking basketball seriously. It’s something that I won’t take for granted and definitely won’t forget.
“When it came up and Jason Smith (Boomers team manager) gave me the call, I couldn’t believe it was happening. When they told me they wanted me to be a part of it, I was trying to find words to respond with, but I was just sitting there in shock.”
A Melbourne United NBL Champion himself, White has looked to fellow Country Victorian, United teammate and senior Boomer, Matthew Dellavedova over the past few months.
“Delly’s been a player and person I’ve looked up to my whole life, to have him play at United and be a part of this team as well, he’s pumped and super excited for me and has told me to just enjoy it. He understands how important it is to play as a Boomer in front of home fans, I love playing with him, he makes everyone around him better and that’s going to be so good for this group.”
The Boomers will play three games during the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, tipping off on June 30.
FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS SCHEDULE:
|Thursday, June 30||Australia v China||6:30pm AEST|
|Friday, July 1||China v Chinese Taipei||5:00pm AEST|
|Friday, July 1||Japan v Australia||7:30pm AEST|
|Sunday, July 3||Japan v Chinese Taipei||4:00pm AEST|
|Sunday, July 3||China v Australia||6:30pm AEST|
|Monday, July 4||Chinese Taipei v China||6:30pm AEST|
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