Tyrone White Jr. becomes latest IBL alum to hit NBA D-League stage
Tyrone White Jr. starred at Cal State Bakersfield before joining the IBL's Salem Sabres
By Gino Pilato
Following a great run with the Salem Sabres in the International Basketball League, Tyrone White Jr. was selected by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers as the 14th pick in the third round of the 2014 NBA Development League Draft on November 1.
"Tyrone is a big guard who we are hoping can play some point. He has a great shooting stroke and gets it off quick. A great kid to be around and he works hard," commented Vipers Head Coach Nevada Smith following the draft.
White Jr. played the last two years of his college ball at Cal State Bakersfield, and averaged 10.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists in 28.1 minutes during his senior season. Upon graduation, White Jr. took his game back to the Pacific Northwest, where the 6-7, 185 pound forward hails from (Portland, Oregon).
With the Sabres last season, White Jr. averaged 29.4 points (second overall in the IBL), 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.4 steals. He was also selected as an IBL All-Star. Perhaps the top performance in the talented guard’s IBL season came during the playoffs against the Seattle Flight, as he dropped in 39 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
The IBL continues to be an excellent professional avenue for players to compete at a high level during an important stretch of the basketball calendar from April to July, where many of the major leagues remain dormant.
White Jr. speaks highly of his time in the IBL as evident from his recent praise in an interview, “I had a blast playing in the IBL. I was actually in California working out with my college team, and got a call that an IBL team was interested in me. I flew back that day, and played in a game that night. Literally, an hour and a half after I was off the plane I was playing at the Portland Chinooks as a member of the Salem Sabres, it was fun,” White Jr. added.
White Jr. spoke about his hard work prior to the draft in the same interview. “I’ve been staying up on my workouts, getting 500 shots up a day while working two jobs. I’ve been busy for sure. Defensively I’ve been focused on getting my motor back, and working on getting in great shape. As far as offense goes, I’ve been working on developing more of a post game so that I can post up smaller guys, that’s also where my strength comes into play.”
That preparation along with his IBL stint and impressive collegiate career spoke to RGV, as one of the most exciting franchises in the entire NBA D-League will now have White Jr. as a weapon for their high powered offense. White Jr. will first take part in training camp, and hope to make the final cut before the NBADL season kicks off November 14.
White Jr. looks up to Seth Tarver and Chehales Tapscott, two former IBL players that had NBA D-League ties, and hoped to add his name to the list prior to the draft. With his selection, White Jr. now joins Tarver and Tapscott as skilled IBL alumni who have taken their talents to the NBADL.
Update on IBL players overseas
A brief update on how some former IBL stars have been doing recently as they continue their careers overseas:
6’6” F Tyler Amaya – A 2014 IBL Champion with the Bellingham Slam, Amaya recently completed an exhibition tour of China with former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady.
6’7” F Joe Burton – The Salem Sabres' 2013 Rookie of the Year is leading Zwolle to 5-1 record in Holland while averaging 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in second season overseas.
6’9” F Tiny Gallon – Formerly of the Lone Star Strikers, Tiny is back with Delaware 87ers after averaging 18.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during 2013-14 D-League season.
6’6” F Adam Herman – The 2014 IBL Rookie of the Year from the Vancouver Volcanoes scored career high 41 points in second game with Plasencia in Spain’s EBA.
6’6” F Germain Jordan – Back-to-back IBL Most Improved Player from the Portland Chinooks ranks third in Sweden’s Basketligan in points (18.7) and second in rebounding (10.7) through first month of season with Umea.
6’10” C Evan Matteson – 2012 IBL Champion and NBA D-League draft pick led Tokyo Z to back-to-back double-doubles in his first two games in Japan’s NBDL.
6’2" G Andre Murray – The two-time IBL MVP scored in double figures in last four games with BJ-League's Bambitious Nara alongside former Vancouver Volcanoes teammate Chehales Tapscott.
6’6” F Chehales Tapscott – The 2013 IBL Most Valuable Player is averaging 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds (including five double-doubles) in six games with Bambitious Nara.
6’5” C Blake Poole – The three-time IBL Champion and league All-Star from Bellingham has posted a double-double of 15 points and 18 rebounds in first game with Lusitania in Portugal.
6’2” G Garrett Sim – The former Vancouver Volcanoes guard is averaging 11.7 points and 4.1 assists through 7 games with Crailsheim in Germany’s first-division BBL.
6'5" G Porter Troupe – Longtime Volcanoes guard is beginning his sixth season with Rovinari in Romania’s top league after winning Romanian Cup Championship last year.
Vancouver Volcanoes Dance Team
Photo by Brian Drake