Will White saved his best performance of the Sunflower Showcase in the biggest game.
White scored 24 points to help lead the Kansas All-Stars to a 15U Gold Championship in Lawrence winning 75-69 in overtime over the Champaign Wolverines.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore shooting guard from Highland Park made 7 of 16 shots from the field and 9 of 12 free-throw attempts. The 24 points were the most he scored in the tournament. He also grabbed four rebounds and had four steals.
“I was able to make a couple more shots, but mainly I would drive it and try to get an and-one or go to the free-throw line,” White said.
The Kansas All-Stars, which consist of a number of players from Topeka, led 38-27 at halftime and then the Wolverines outscored them by the same scoreline in the second half to send the game to overtime tied at 65.
“We came out pretty good in the first half,” White said. “We were running our offense good, getting it into our posts and letting them score, and running our offense through them. We were playing pretty good defense. We just gave up a couple easy buckets, but nothing too serious.”
White scored five of the team’s 10 points in overtime to earn the win.
“In overtime we kind of pulled together more on the defensive end, got more stops and transition buckets,” White said.
The team played without their tournament leading scorer DeShawn Hanika in the final game, but White was there to pick up to help pick up the scoring.
“I kind of put it on myself to try to do a little bit more on the offensive side,” White said.
Highland Park teammates Jerry Evans, Kenny Stewart, and Jacqez Barksdale were also on the team in addition to Topeka West’s Koriyon Carr and Ra’Zhon Harness.
“It’s really fun,” White said. “We’ve been playing together ever since we were little so we have good chemistry. It’s just fun playing with them. Everyone knows each other so we know how we play.”
It was a productive summer for White, who played in eight games for Highland Park last season and will be looking for a larger role this upcoming season.
“I made improvements playing up at the varsity level and becoming more of a leader for kids my age and my team and getting a higher basketball IQ,” White said.
The Sunflower Showcase was the final tournament of the summer for White, who plans to continue to put in work in the gym before turning his focus to football where he plays wide receiver and cornerback.