5-star Sadiq White on why he chose Syracuse basketball: Coaches 'kept it real with me'

Five-star Sadiq White Jr. details why he pledged to Syracuse basketball, citing his genuine and strong bond with SU coaches.
Five-star Sadiq White Jr. details why he pledged to Syracuse basketball, citing his genuine and strong bond with SU coaches. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

Last week, elite 2025 forward Sadiq White Jr. from Charlotte, N.C., verbally committed to Syracuse basketball, a huge first get for the Orange staff in this class.

In a variety of interviews since pledging to the 'Cuse, the five-star White has detailed some of the key reasons why he picked Syracuse basketball over other finalists Alabama, Southern California, Georgetown, LSU, Tennessee and Texas.

As I noted in a column last month, some media reports had indicated that White was planning to take official visits to all of his seven finalists before making a commitment announcement. However, he didn't ultimately need to do that; White knew where he wanted to head to in college, and he didn't want to wait any longer.

Five-star forward Sadiq White Jr. discusses why he selected Syracuse basketball.

The Orange coaching staff has prioritized White in the rising high school senior cycle for quite some time. The 'Cuse offered him a scholarship in late April of 2023. Among other things, per reports, Syracuse basketball coaches checked in on White at open gyms, at his high school games, and on the AAU circuit during live periods.

A consensus top-40 national prospect in the 2025 cycle, White had an All-American junior season at Myers Park High School in Charlotte. This spring and summer in grassroots hoops, he is a standout with the 17U squad of the Charlotte-based Team United in Nike's EYBL league.

White has taken two unofficial visits to the Hill, in mid-September of last year and in late February of this year on Jim Boeheim Day. Now that he's verbally committed to the Orange, I assume at some point he'll take an official visit to the program, perhaps this summer.

Since offering him in late April of last year, Syracuse basketball coaches have proven a consistent presence for White, who has formed strong relationships with numerous members of the 'Cuse staff, including assistant coach Brenden Straughn, head coach Adrian Autry and former associate head coach Gerry McNamara, who earlier this spring left the Hill to become the head coach at Siena.

White said in an article from On3 national analyst/scout Jamie Shaw, "Coach Red (Autry), Coach B, even G-Mac who just left, they’ve all kept it real with me since day one. They’ve helped me where I need to improve and they’ve produced guys who play like me. ... They’re one of those staffs that connected with me off the court. With coach Red leading charge in his first season, I’ve seen how much he wants his guys to get to the next level. They all embraced me when I visited. They like my versatility and think that would fit well with how they’re trying to play. I talk with them almost every day, about life, about basketball, about expanding my game. Everything."

In an interview with 247Sports national analyst Travis Branham, White echoed that sentiment, saying that "Coach Red, coach Brenden [Straughn] built just a genuine relationship. They called and talked to me all of the time about the little stuff outside of basketball - just life. That was pretty much it. On my visit, it just seemed they have the things that I can thrive there."

He added of the Orange staff, "They haven't missed a game all year both AAU and high school. They were there for every big moment for me this season. They gave me input on how they can see me getting better, how I can grow in their system and just trying to make me a pro and get me to the next level."

In recent months and perhaps extending out over the past year or so, Syracuse basketball coaches have spent a lot of time pursuing a handful of key targets in the 2025 cycle, including White. That hard work paid off in landing this talented forward from North Carolina, and we could see additional 2025 recruits potentially pledge to the Orange in the coming months.

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