JU student athlete excels on and off the court

KNOXVILLE — Not every college basketball player scores 1,000 points in their career, but that is exactly what Kenny White, one of the leaders of the Johnson University Royal’s Men’s Basketball team did earlier this season.

White accomplished this feat early in his Junior year against Berea College in November.

White’s teammates Seniors Jordon McClendon and Gunner St. John also eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season.

For White, he credits his on-court success to his hard work and up-tempo style.

“Honestly, our style of play allows us freedom to create shots for ourselves,” White said. “With an up-tempo style, the opportunity to score presents itself.”

White took advantage of that opportunity early in his Sophomore year under new Head Coach Brandon Perry taking over the reigns.

“Coach Perry allows us to play basketball,” White said. “Meaning we have a lot of trust from Coach Perry to create shots for ourselves and teammates.”

White averaged 20.4 in his Sophomore campaign. Currently, with a few more quality players on the roster, White is still averaging 18.6. White is currently on pace to break the school’s all-time scoring record.

For White, the path to becoming a leader on and off the court for Kenny White has been quite a journey. White, orginally from the Washington D.C. area moved to local Halls, Tennessee in elementary school.

The transition from urban D.C. to rural East Tennessee was a different experience but White saw sports and family as a way to adjust. And while he made that adjustment, family remained an important part of his life.

White credits his parents for his morals and values that were instilled in him early.

“Support from my parents is the biggest reason I am at this point,” White said. “Especially in my first year at Johnson, which is the hardest in college in my opinion.” White said his parents offered invaluable guidance as he grew as an athlete and student.

“They would help me through situations I had not experienced yet,” he said, “Also, the discipline that I’ve been taught helped with balancing being a student-athlete and with school work in general.”

White said he has believed from an early age that work ethic and character are key to being successful on and off the court.

Since coming to Johnson, White has seen his game and approach to life grow tremendously through his role of being a student-athlete.

“We learn about life and character,” White said. There are many things that I have learned from life that I use to play with on the court, and many things I’ve learned on the court that I use in life.” White said his experience as a student athlete at Johnson has been beneficial.

Being a student-athlete at Johnson teaches responsibility, discipline, communication, teamwork, and many other traits necessary to succeed in life,” he said. “It is not just all about sports with us athletes.”

White’s past has helped lead him already in his two and a half seasons to being one of the most successful players in Johnson history.

White looks to take his team back to the National Tournament

After graduation, White plans to pursue an opportunity to play professional basketball internationally. Outside of the court White sees himself interested in a career in Business marketing.

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