Former Mermaid White realises American college basketball dream

WARRNAMBOOL forward Maddy White has realised a long-held dream and will play basketball at an American college.

White, 19, signed a letter of intent with the University of South Dakota (USD) last week and will move to the United States in August.

“I’m really excited. I have watched it on TV and (it’s like) ‘oh I would love to do that’,” she said. “Basketball-wise I am looking forward to the way they play. They have different rules and I love the team atmosphere.

“I am looking forward to the college experience, going to football matches and sororities, not that I will be in a sorority.”

South Dakota Coyotes are a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division one women’s basketball team.

“It is a mid-major school. I am not going to sit on the bench the whole time,” White said. 

“But I will get limited minutes my first year but I will train really hard.”

Coyotes women’s basketball head coach Amy Williams said in a statement on the university’s website that White had the potential to make her mark when the college season starts in November.

“We are excited about the addition of Maddy White to the program,” Williams said. 

“She is an accomplished international athlete that has had excellent coaching and training. Her competitiveness, basketball IQ, and versatility will be great assets for our program and should put her in a position to make an impact right away.”

White played in Warrnambool Mermaids’ Big V division one championship team in 2011, before joining South East Australian Basketball League side Geelong Supercats.

The 182-centimetre forward played for Australia’s under 19 team at the Oceania championships in New Zealand in September 2012, helping the Gems qualify for the FIBA under 19 world championships in Lithuania in July.

White said she would not represent the Gems at the world championships.

“I am focused more on America now and it wasn’t like I was a starting five player, I was a little extra on the end,” she said.

White is playing in the Supercats’ youth league side as she recovers from a neck injury sustained in a car crash in November. 

“Hopefully I will get SEABL games before I go,” she said. 

“(The injury) is coming along well. There are no dramas whatsoever. It’s more fitness-based.”


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