NBL: Jack White keeping things simple after strong performance in Melbourne United vs. Illawarra Hawks

Melbourne United mightn’t have gotten the win but Jack White had a day to remember against fellow title hopefuls the Illawarra Hawks.

Jack White admits he can be an overthinker on the court.

It leads to the star United forward ignoring his instincts, passing up shots he knows he can make or giving the ball up when he should be dunking on his defender’s head.

After a quiet game last Sunday week, a hyper-aggressive White exploded against Illawarra Saturday, pouring in nine first-quarter points on the way to a team-high 17.

It didn’t result in a win but it put his side in a position to do so — they just failed to execute down the stretch in the 96-90 defeat.

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“I just tried not to overcomplicate it,” White said of his effort against the Hawks.

“I definitely find myself overthinking a fair bit of the time and that’s definitely not good for me.

“I feel I’m at my best when I’m playing off instincts and just playing free, so I feel like I did a better job of that.”

At 200cm, White isn’t the biggest power forward in the NBL and he gave away 11cms to Illawarra tower Duop Reath, who had 18 points.

He more than makes up for the lack of height as one of the most athletic players in the league — everything he does has an elegance about it as he glides through the air to rip down rebounds, contest shots and throw down ferocious dunks. He had three of those against the Hawks, including a huge alley-oop in the last quarter.

The three-point shot is fast becoming a weapon, too. He’s not known as a shooter, but watch him fire them up in practice and you’ll see vastly improved mechanics and rhythm in his stroke that results in very few misses.

White missed the majority of last season with a wrecked Achilles and, at the moment, he’s just grateful to be back on the floor — but the NBA is “in the back of my head”.

“I want to represent my country at the highest level and I want to be an NBA player and I’m confident that if I take care of my business and stay healthy and just focus on winning and this team, that stuff will take care of itself,” he said.

NBA scouts have attended several United games this season — chiefly to see highly-regarded Next Star Ariel Hukporti — but, what White does on the floor is eye-catching and it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of those scouts have headed home with news of a 24-year-old Traralgon kid with hops, effort and leadership qualities.

United will attempt to bounce back from a pair of losses when they travel to Perth for a Monday night clash with the Wildcats.

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