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Updated: March 22nd, 2014 3:23pm
Former Hopkins star Royce White finally makes NBA debut with Kings

Former Hopkins star Royce White finally makes NBA debut with Kings

by Nate Sandell
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Twenty-one months after being selected by Houston with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Royce White finally made his NBA debut Friday night for the Sacramento Kings.

White entered in the final minute of the Kings' loss to San Antonio. While he did not register any stats in his brief appearance, his debut was a positive note in what has been a highly tumultuous pro career.

Prior to Friday, White, a former Hopkins high school star and Minnesota Gophers recruit, was the only first-round pick from the 2012 draft class who had not yet played in an NBA game.

After transferring from Minnesota in the wake of off-court disciplinary issues in 2010, White found a second chance at Iowa State, where he turned a stellar 2011-12 season into first-round pick status.

However, White ended up never seeing the court in Houston. White, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, was locked in an ongoing dispute with Rockets management over how his disorder should be treated. The off-court battle continued until Houston ultimately decided to trade the talented forward to Philadelphia last July.

White spent training camp with the 76ers but was released before the regular season began.

It looked as if he would never play in the NBA. But in March the Kings signed White to a pair of 10-day contracts. Following a quick D-League stint, he was brought back to Sacramento to fill an empty bench spot. White signed his second 10-day contract on March 18.

White could possibly see more playing time on Sunday in Sacramento when the Kings square off against the Bucks;

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell