A ‘dream come true’: White signs with Denver, is officially Red Lake’s first Division I recruit
RED LAKE -- Red Lake High School and its surrounding community came out in full force Wednesday morning to celebrate its first Division I athlete. Grace White officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Denver, ...
RED LAKE -- Red Lake High School and its surrounding community came out in full force Wednesday morning to celebrate its first Division I athlete.
Grace White officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Denver, becoming the first Red Lake athlete in any sport to commit to compete in NCAA Division I athletics.
“I can barely wrap my head around it,” White said after an assembly that was held in the school’s gymnasium before a large crowd of students, faculty, family and friends. “It’s crazy to have your dream come true that you dreamt about since you were little. To see the support that I have and all the people coming out today, I’m truly blessed and grateful for everything.”
The senior has established a career that ranks her as one of the greatest athletes in Red Lake High School history. With still one more season to go, White has already tallied 1,794 career points for an average of 21.1 per game, along with 887 rebounds, 385 assists, 179 steals and 102 blocks.
White is on pace to score more than 2,000 points and has the potential to break every statistical record in the book for the Warrior basketball programs -- both girls and boys.
“She’s a difference-maker,” said her father, Roger White, who is also the head boys basketball coach at Red Lake. “She’s played on several different teams from sixth grade until now and through those years she’s improved, she’s worked hard. For her on the basketball court, she just brings something that some players just have, and I don’t know, sometimes you can’t describe it as a coach. But when she steps on the floor she picks up her team, she’s always motivated, she keeps going and she pushes players and pushes herself. It’s something that good players have.”
White says she hopes she has paved a path for future Red Lake athletes to pursue their dreams of playing top-level college sports.
“It’s huge,” she said of becoming the school’s first D-I recruit. “I hope that I set the bar for the generations coming in and my peers and everybody to go out and be better than me, go out and do greater things. I hope I just kind of broke the ice for that so we get more athletes to go play college ball.”
White and her family have received tremendous support from the community, including after the death of her younger brother, Aaron, a year ago to cancer.
“They’ve supported me with the loss of my brother and we all kind of grieved together and we all went through that process together,” White said. “For them to be here through my success and this big, I want to call it a victory, it means a lot. I really appreciate it.”
While White may be headed off to the Rocky Mountains, her family and friends will not have to travel far to see her in action, at least for several games a year.
Denver is a member of the Summit League, the same conference as North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State. There may soon be lines of cars journeying to Fargo, N.D., Vermillion, S.D., and Brookings, S.D., in the years to come.
“Let’s hope half the reservation gets there,” White said with a laugh.
The senior does not yet know what she wants to study in college but she does know what she eventually wants to do with her degree.
“I haven’t decided yet on my major,” White said, “but I know that I’m going to do something where I come back and give back to my people.”