UNC guard Coby White declares for the NBA Draft

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Coby White dazzled us for a year at North Carolina and will now take his incredibly vibrant game and mane to the NBA. UNC and White made that news official Wednesday with a simultaneous press release and social media posts.

"First, I want to thank God for everything he has blessed me with, including the ability to live out my dream of playing basketball. This season has taught me so much and I wouldn't trade the opportunity to play at UNC with a group of guys that have truly become my brothers for anything," White wrote, in part.

You don't become the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school history without some serious skills, and it turns out for White, those skills translated immediately, even at the highest levels of college basketball. White probably didn't enter his freshman season as a surefire one-and-done player, but it wasn't long before he was opening eyes.

The primary credit, of course, goes to White, but also to Roy Williams, who quickly realized what a dynamo he had in White. Rather than leaning on more experienced options, Williams handed the Tar Heel car keys to White and let him punch the gas.

The 6-5 guard from Goldsboro made an immediate impact at UNC, becoming the starting point guard and setting the pace in Williams' up-tempo offense on the way to a 29-7 season.

There were few more entertaining sights in the ACC this year than White at full flight, hair blown back and bobbing as he scythed through an opposing defense not yet prepared to handle the human missile headed its way. Williams is famous for saying his team can never play fast enough for his liking, but White surely came close.

He averaged 16.1 points per game along with 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. White shot 42.2 percent from the field and made 80 percent of his free-throw attempts.

With that speed came a few more turnovers than probably optimal, and White's shooting was sometimes streaky, but when he was on, boy was he on. His scoring will obviously translate at the NBA level, and he possesses more than adequate size for the positions he'll be asked to play. White will likely be a lottery pick in the draft.

"I've always had a dream of playing basketball in the NBA and with that being said, I've decided to enter the 2019 NBA draft. This year, this school, this experience has prepared me for the next phase of my basketball journey," White added.

White scored a career-high 34 points in a Feb. 26 win against Syracuse and twice poured in 33. He scored 15 points but missed all seven of his 3-point attempts in the season-ending loss to Auburn in the NCAA tournament.

White is the second Tar Heel this week to announce that he would leave school early. On Monday, fellow freshman Nassir Little said he would enter the draft.
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