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The collective heart of North Carolina Tar Heels fans everywhere may have skipped a beat Thursday when word got out on Twitter that a representive of Big Baller Brand was in Goldsboro to offer UNC five-star recruit and Greenfield School senior Coby White a chance to play professionally instead of going to college.
White, who is Greenfield’s first McDonald’s All-American and the all-time leading high school boys basketball scorer in state history, was in his hometown as the Knights played in the semifinals of the Coastal Plain Independents Conference tournament at Wayne Country Day.
Big Baller Brand, the shoe and apparel company created by LaVar Ball, has announced plans to begin a professional league for players who don’t want to go to college but must wait until their 19th birthday to sign with an NBA team. Ball has been a controversial figure since he rose to national attention as the father of three highly talented players — Lonzo, now a rookie with the Los Angeles Laker; LiAngelo and LaMelo, who are playing professionally overseas.
Needless to say, White will continue his path to UNC.
“We kind of told him that we were not interested,” said Bonita White, Coby’s mother.
Bonita White said that she was told that the start-up league is trying to get 80 players of the top 100 high school seniors to play for a year. White is ranked No. 19 by ESPN.
“They’re trying to come up with eight teams to play in four major cities and they would be paid for playing,” she said. “I didn’t get that far to ask them how much they would be paid.”
She said that her son received information in the mail from Big Baller Brand on the new league
“They had already reached out to Coby and he just ignored them,” she said.
While the time is not quite right for a professional career for White, it’s something he may have to think about as early as next year. Bonita White said that there have been no family discussions as yet about that prospect, considering that her son is more focused on playing for Greenfield right now and UNC next year.
“If you know Coby very well, he’s a person that thinks for the moment,” she said.