Kendall White and the Trinity Lutheran boys basketball team got off to a slow start at the beginning of the season.
White sustained an ankle injury and missed three games, and the Cougars lost all three.
He returned the Southwestern (Shelby) game, which the Cougars won, and White says he has improved in all areas since.
White says the team is confident it can reach the .500 mark this season, and the Cougars need to get off to better starts.
“We’ve just got to run with the other teams, we’ve got to be more aggressive early,” he said. “When we come out in the second half we’re ready to fire away. We always come back on teams when we’re down.
“We’ve got to come out ready to play at first the first minute of the game instead of waiting until the last minute. We’ve got to slow our offense down and be aggressive on defense. We can’t allow more than 48 points. That’s our goal.”
White didn’t start playing basketball at Trinity until his junior year.
“I wasn’t tall my freshman or sophomore years, but I had a growth spurt and shot up like my dad,” White said. “I got as tall as my dad (6-foot-6), and he wanted me to play. I played in middle school but I was never really tall. I became interested (in basketball) when I became taller.”
White played junior varsity his junior year, and practiced against seniors like Daniel Horton and Bobby Tabeling.
He said that experience definitely helped him for this season.
“It was a little rough at first because I had been out of it for so long, but I was learning a different position like the post,” White said. “I think it got me ready for what I’m supposed to be doing this year, like staying on the low block and get rebounds, and post up and not really go out on the wings or anything.”
White primarily plays in the post.
“It’s definitely a lot more comfortable playing there than I was on a wing, getting rebounds and stuff,” he said. “I like being in there, getting physical, and post up and score and get rebounds.”
White said he has a variety of moves under the basket.
“I like to either do a shot fake, or get in the air first or just shoot a hook because with my height advantage it lets me do a hook and it’s really not going to get blocked,” he said.
White said another thing that has helped is working with assistant coach Blaze Ayers in practice.
“He’s from Brownstown and he’s been helping us a lot,” White said. “He’s bigger than me so he’s a pretty good challenge, and he knows what he’s talking about.”
The senior’s offense has improved since the Edinburgh Holiday Tournament, as he has scored in double figures six times with a high-game of 23 points against Medora.
On defense, White looks to disrupt.
“If I’m going to zone, it will be a 2-3, and I’ll be in the middle and have my hands up, but I think we do pretty well in man,” he said. “I like to think I’m a pretty good shot blocker.”
White said communication is important on the court.
“I’m down low and I can see everything that’s happening so I need to call out more picks. As the season has gone on I’ve gotten better at that.”
While he isn’t a captain, White tries to be a leader on the floor.
“There is definitely more weight on my shoulders, I’m the only one significantly over 6 foot and try to stay in the post and let the other guys shoot the 3s,” he said.
“I love being with the team, being with the guys, and the bus rides are always fun. You feel part of something and to come out there and have the fans watching you is always a good feeling. Getting rebounds, blocking shots and scoring is always fun.”
White said is he glad he chose to attend Trinity Lutheran.
“My parents gave me the option and I took it,” White said. “It has been a good decision. All the sports programs, you fit in because they’re smaller and you have a chance to excel in those.
“It’s not only a good education, but it’s a smaller school and there is more one-on-one, and they incorporate God into everything and they teach that. Here we can pray about family members and stuff, and having another chapel service every week, besides church every week, we get another chapel service and get a chance to learn more about God and we incorporate God into sports, too. We always pray.”
Name: Kendall White
School: Trinity Lutheran
Parents: Steve and Kenna White
Siblings: Lexi, Mitch
Sports: basketball 2 years, baseball 1 year
Plans after high school: join the Marine Corps, attend college
Favorite food: Chinese food
Favorite TV show: ESPN
Favorite singer: Metallica
Favorite movie: Bench Warmers
Favorite teams: Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins