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Royce White To Go Pro, Enter 2012 NBA Draft

Royce White looked like he might be the savior the Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball program needed all that long ago. His time at the University obviously didn't go as expected, however, and the talented big man has now decided to leave the Iowa St. Cyclones for a chance to enter the NBA Draft.

White certainly put his name on the map as he led head coach Fred Hoiberg's Iowa State program in nearly every statistic possible this season while seeming to be more mature than he was earlier in his basketball career. Hoiberg commented on White's abilities as a pro during a press conference on Wednesday.

"In conversations I've had with NBA personnel, Royce's unique skill-set and big-time performances vs. elite competition have positioned him to realize his professional dreams," said Hoiberg. "His ball-skill abilities coupled with his strength and size is a rare combination. Royce is a wonderful person and it was an honor for me to get the chance to coach him."

White thanked Hoiberg -- the former Minnesota Timberwolves sharpshooter -- for the coach's help during White's time as a Cyclone.

"Coach Hoiberg is one of the greatest men I've ever met. I'm proud to have shared a piece of his legacy in his town," White added. "I will always cherish Cyclone fans. They have uplifted me in so many ways, from support on the court, to allowing me to feel comfortable enough to share my problems with anxiety and pursuit of helping those who suffer from mental illness everywhere."

It'll be interesting to see what NBA teams decide regarding White's checkered past, but he seems to be a reformed man off the court -- and a solid basketball still.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.