Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Most talent evaluators have player preferences if you encounter one that says they don’t, you shouldn’t believe anything else they write or say. I have a preference, it’s typically a player between 6’4 and 6’10 that can play on the wing. Has the ability to dribble, pass, shoot, rebound, and defend multiple positions. This has been my preference since the 1996-1997 Chicago Bulls starting lineup consisted of Michael Jordan (G) 6’6, Ron Harper (G) 6’6, Scottie Pippen (F) 6’7, Dennis Rodman (F) 6’7 and Toni Kukoc (F) 6’10. They were all multidimensional with very unique elite skillsets.
It’s also safe to say that if we have preferences of players we like we also have preferences of players that we don’t like. I personally don’t care for small Point Guards, the reason being a lot of them struggle to create separation off the dribble against bigger players (just a lot of dribbling on the perimeter), they take a lot of forced/bad shots and they don’t typically don’t create well for their teammates. This is not to say that I’m not a fan of any small PG’s or that some can’t change my mind but they have to be special.
With that being said, AJ White is Special! The 5’9 155 lbs PG out of Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, GA may be the best scoring PG in the country. He posted a 2019-2020 season stat-line of 27.4 PTS || 4.0 REB || 6.3 AST || 2.0 STL || while shooting 56.3 FG% || 37.1 3P% || 83.0 FT% while leading his team to a State Championship. AJ’s unique attribute isn’t scoring, its simply taking what the defense gives him, he shoots when he’s open, gives the ball up to open teammates, tracks down long rebounds, and competes on the defensive end. He’s always under control and you can trust he will make the right play for his team.
I first saw AJ during the summer of 2019 playing for storied Georgia Stars, I can honestly say I didn’t pay much attention to him and that was my mistake by far. I would see him in December of 2019 at the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler High School. He completely opened my eyes to how good he is, he knocked down 3’s off the dribble and the catch, found open teammates, make pull-ups in the midrange, and finished at the rim. After the game, I asked a friend of mine, what did he end up with, 20-22pts? He said, “Nah he had 36”. How was I so off on his output, it’s because he is efficient, he didn’t take an insane amount of shot, he made the ones he took and he knocked down his FT’s. From that day on he’s had a fan in me.
Now to my conversation with C/O 2021 Point Guard AJ White in Q&A form:
Q: Tell me about your upbringing, where are you from originally?
A: We are from Memphis, we moved here when I was in 8th grade.
Q: What part of Memphis?
A: Orange Mountain
BTL: The only people I know from Orange Mountain, is 8Ball & MJG (showed my age with that comment, lol)
Q: How often do you get back to Memphis?
A: Not very often, other than to get a tattoo or something.
Q: Whose your support system?
A: My Mom, Dad, and my trainer.
BTL: I met both your Mom and Dad over the weekend at the Tip-Off Classic.
Q: Tell what life is like in the White household?
A: I pretty much wake up and workout every day, go to the gym about three days a week to lift weights and, then I shoot the wights off. And from there I am just on my game.
Q: So I know you played for the Georgia Stars the past two years, what made you make the switch to Aim High?
A: I don’t feel like the Stars did anything for me, I lead them in scoring off the bench for 2 years and we went to the Peach Jam both years and I really didn’t pick up any offers so I decided to move on.
Q: What are the biggest differences you from your high school team to AAU team?
A: I have a lot of responsibility on the High School team, I kinda carry the load. AAU there are always a lot of options.
Q: How do you describe your game?
A: I’m a natural scorer that plays the right way.
Q: What do you like most about your game?
A: I like that I can play under control, I never let anybody speed me up or dictate how I play.
Q: What do you still think you need to work on?
A: I need to get stronger and continue to work on my defense.
Q: Do you have anybody that you've patterned your game after or compare your game to?
A: I like Dame (Lillard) he’s my favorite player so I’ll probably say him.
Q: Would you say you’re coachable?
A: Most definitely, I feel like I can fit and play in any system.
Q: What motivates you in basketball?
A: People doubting me, I hear stuff like he too short or he can’t play at this or that level. But that life, I just go out and prove them wrong.
Q: Has there been any adversity that you've faced off the court?
A: Nothing really…well, maybe what happened this past weekend (July 3-5 Tip-Off Classic) They had me on the bench like I can’t play or something.
Q: Is that something you’ll hold on to and use if you get a chance to play them over the summer.
A: Yeah, I always hold little grudges, I’ll just make sure I take it out on them if we play.
Q: What makes you tick, like is there anything that bothers you?
A: Just people not believing that I can play.
Q: What are your goals for next season and moving forward after high school?
A: To try to get back to the State Championship, we should have a good shot.
Q: What are the schools that have offered you or showed interest?
A: Florida Gulf Coast, Merrimack, Troy, Charleston Southern, Winthrop, North Alabama, Kennesaw State, and Presbyterian.
Q: What are you looking for in a program?
A: Just somewhere that believes in me and where I can be myself.
Q: Do you care if it’s High, Mid, or Low Major?
A: High Majors don’t matter to me.
Q: What are your grades like?
A: I have a 3.3 GPA.
Q: Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet?
A: No, my ACT got canceled because of COVID.
Q: Who is AJ White off the court?
A: I’m a pretty quiet kid, I pretty much stay to myself.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Hopefully getting picked up by a team in the league (NBA), the G League, or Overseas.
Q: Would you rather hit a game-winning shot at home or on the road and tell me why?
A: I’d rather hit it on the road. Just to shut the fans up.
BTL: That answer tells me a lot about you, the kind of person and player you are.
In conclusion, I am man enough to admit when I was wrong and I was definitely wrong about
AJ White, we’ll see how many others change there tune about him for the season is over next year. Wherever he ends up playing college, they are getting a stud that before its all said and done will probably leave the school as the all-time scoring leader. He is mature on the court beyond his years and will always put the success of the team first. I hope the rest of the country can jump on the AJ White bandwagon before its too late. I encourage AJ to keep the same mentality that has gotten him this far, keep your circle tight, and when you step in-between the lines make sure they remember your name!
Until next time...