Former NBA Lottery Pick Royce White Transitioning into MMA
Royce White is making a change.
White, a Houston Rockets lottery pick back in 2012, failed to live up to his hype due to his fear of flying. The former first round pick out of Iowa State failed to reach any sort of agreement with the Rockets and the NBA that would have him avoid flying to games.
He then moved on to the Canadian NBL where he found success on the London Lightning. White won the league MVP award in 2017, the same year the Lightning won the NBL championship. White was also named to the All-NBL Canada first team twice in both 2017 and 2018.
Now, the 27 year old is looking to make a transition into the world of MMA.
In fact, White launched a book earlier in the week called “MMA x NBA, A Critique of Modern Sport in America,” which details his decision to move on from basketball and transition into a new sport. He also claims that he can see himself become a UFC heavyweight champion one day.
“I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” White said. “Among the NBA community, part of my appeal as a draft prospect was my unique size, athleticism, vision and that I probably have one of the 10 biggest set of hands in the NBA. I think all of those things will translate beautifully to the UFC.”
White has been training in MMA for the past six-to-seven month, but as of now it is unclear as to when he will book his first fight and for what promotion that fight will be. White is training at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, the same gym that developed former UFC heavyweight champion and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.
“I’ve always been a fan of the fight game since I was young,” White said. “I played point guard as a 265-pounder in the NCAA. In order to do so, not only do you have to have great court vision, you have to have great tempo and great footwork.
”Those things naturally translate to the fight game. I’m excited about it, but more so than anything, I’m excited about learning this thing that I’ve loved from the sidelines for so long, and applying it.”
White last played in the NBA in the 2013-14 season as a member of the Sacramento Kings.