Did Royce White’s “fear of flying” prevent him from becoming a Kentucky Wildcat?

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Mar 15, 2012; Louisville, KY, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Royce White (30) shoots against Connecticut Huskies center Andre Drummond (12) and guard Niels Giffey (5) during the second half in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men

Kentucky learned their opponent for Saturday’s game as Iowa State defeated defending champion Connecticut 77-64 and former Minnesota Gopher Royce White was a huge reason why with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  And this brings a certain level of intrigue to Saturday’s 8:00 PM matchup with the Cyclones.  Over the summer, White became a polarizing figure as he paid a visit to Lexington and there was genuine concern by some that the troubled but talented White could end up a Wildcat.  To be honest, I did not think that White was a serious candidate to join Kentucky and that he was in Lexington on more of a consultative visit with Calipari.  However, some recent comments by White indicate that he could have been closer to being a Wildcat than we thought:

Were it not for his issues with flying, White might today be part of the nation’s No. 1 club.

“Summer school was starting the next week when I was finally going to sign my letter-of-intent, and Coach (John) Calipari was like ‘Can you get on a flight and come here tomorrow?’ Whoa! Hey now!

White suffered a panic attack from the prospect of flying to Lexington alone. His mother called Calipari to cancel the trip.

“I respect Coach Calipari so much,” White said. “I couldn’t even call him, that’s how down I was.

“It all worked out. Kentucky’s the No. 1 team in the country, so they didn’t really need me.”

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Topics: 2012 NCAA Tournament, Kentucky Wildcat Basketball, Royce White Kentucky Wildcats

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