Posted On: 05/17/20 7:14 PM
At the beginning of the year, the college path for Jesse WhiteJesseWhite6'0" | CGSam Barlow | 2020StateOR seemed to be set. But as things went along for the 6-foot-1 point guard during his senior season, his mindset of never being satisfied started to settle in. After a banner year where he led 6A in scoring and was named First Team All-State White decided to change course with his commitment and late last week he decided that he’ll start his college career at the JC level at Utah State Eastern.
White had originally committed to Western Oregon not long after the Les Schwab Invitational but had not signed a letter-of-intent, which ended up keeping his options open. After making decision to re-open his commitment in April, he received over ten scholarship offers from NJCAA schools and while doing his own research and talking to a lot of others, he determined that USU Eastern was the best fit for him.
“The thing that separated them was Coach (Bill) Evans was the old Idaho State coach and a 25-year Division I head coach,” White said. “He really was interested in me and really made an effort to get me there. He really seems like a genuine guy and I’ve heard good things from former players and coaches like Wayne Tinkle, Tyler Geving, and Barret Peery all called me (about him). They all said that he’s the real deal and that he’ll not only develop people but that he’s a good, caring guy. That was a big part of it.”
“The fact that they’re in such a good league – the exposure they get, Coach Peery was telling me how it’s hands down the best JUCO league,” White continued. “It’s also closer to home and they need a point guard, so I thought it was a good fit for me.”
USU Eastern plays in the historically top-notch Scenic West Conference, which routinely has Division I coaches on the sidelines scouting its games. To that end, White felt it was it was the right opportunity for him to showcase himself some more in front of college basketball’s highest level and he noted that schools such as Portland State, Portland, Oregon State, Incarnate Word, Idaho, Idaho State, Seattle, Northern Kentucky, and Dixie State have indicated that they will be following his progress.
A high-academic qualifier right out of high school – he sports a 4.0 GPA – White will have the opportunity to leave USU Eastern after one year and that’s something he’s already discussed with Coach Evans. “We’ll see what happens,” White said. “Obviously I want to go in and win, have some success, and develop as a player. Yes, ideally I’d like to go one and done but we’ll see. I’m just satisfied that I’m going in the right direction.”
White finished as the #4 ranked player in the PrepHoops Oregon Class of 2020 rankings.