The University of Portland men’s basketball team has already eclipsed their win total from last season. Portland, though only being 1-10 in conference play, has been more competitive this year in games.
One reason the Pilots have been slightly better on the court this season is because of the arrival of graduate transfer guard Isaiah White. White, who spent the last two years playing for University of Maine before graduating, has started all but one game for the Pilots this season, averaging just under 30 minutes a game.
The Maryland native has become Portland’s most prolific scorer this season, a big part of the reason The Beacon selected him as this week’s Pilot in the Spotlight. Averaging 12 points a game — a team high — White has also pushed his point total past the 20-point mark three times this season.
Consistency off the court breeds consistency on the court. White has a game day routine but keeps it simple. Listening to New York rapper Jay Critch and making sure he gets his shots up are key elements.
“Wake up around 8 or 9, breakfast, team shootaround, nap for about an hour, then get some shots up about two hours before tip-off for 30 minutes,” White said in an email. “Then warm up with my team and get ready for the game.”
Though the guard has been a bit of a journeyman throughout his collegiate career, now at his fourth school, a move to the West Coast could have been a tough adjustment. However, in Portland, White has been able to smoothly transition into his new home on The Bluff.
“Portland has been great! Starting in the summer, I immediately felt right at home with the team and staff. It was an easy adjustment for sure,” White said in an email. “Also, as a graduate transfer, this isn't my first rodeo, so I knew what to expect and I knew what was expected of me from my teammates, coaches and professors.”
Though White has been busy living the life of a Division I athlete and graduate student seeking his M.B.A at UP, he also finds time for those close to him. This means fostering relationships with new friends in Portland while keeping up with loved ones on the East Coast — when he isn’t napping.
“Off-court hobbies? Napping. I also try to maximize my free time by spending it with the people I care about, spending time with my teammates and friends here,” White said in an email. And even if that means calling and FaceTiming my friends and loved ones back on the East Coast.”
Though Isaiah White has a bright future in front of him after graduation, he still has work to do on The Bluff. The Pilots have five WCC games left before the conference tournament, and White will be helping to lead the charge.
Jamison White is a sports reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.