Stilman White has his Mormon mission call and he is ready to go.
White, who played back up point guard for the North Carolina Tar Heels last season, is headed to the Utah Ogden mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the next two years.
“I’m just so excited to get my calling; this is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” White said during a phone interview last week with ESPN.com’s Robbi Pickeral. “As much as I’ll miss basketball, as much as I’ll miss my team … this is a big moment for me, being able to serve.”
Pickeral’s ESPN.com article described White’s upcoming mission routine and recounted some memories from his freshman year at UNC. When guards Kendall Marshall and back up Dexter Strickland were both injured, White, the third-string point guard was thrust into the spotlight as the starter for the Tar Heels’ Sweet 16 game against Ohio. The 6-foot, 160-pound guard turned in a respectable performance: six assists, zero turnovers and two points in 32 minutes.
He followed that 73-65 overtime victory by posting seven assists, zero turnovers and four points during UNC’s regional final matchup with Kansas. But the Tar Heels lost 80-67.
“Looking back, it was just a great experience being able to be put in the spotlight like that, and being able to play in games of that caliber,” White told Pickeral. “…But it was also a little bit disappointing, knowing we were just one game short of being able to play in the Final Four — and that was one of our goals for the year, to make it to New Orleans.”
Some wonder if White will return to North Carolina after his mission? White said he has “has no doubt whatsoever” that he will be back in Chapel Hill two years from now. Coach Roy Williams has said White will have a spot on the team.