Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cornell Receives Commitment from Troy Whiteside

Cornell received a verbal commitment from Troy Whiteside (Webb School) Knoxville, TN, 6-4, G.

The Webb School of Knoxville also produced Dwight Tarwater (Cornell '14).  Whiteside, a TWSA All State selection as a junior, had reported offers during the early summer from Samford, Liberty, American, Penn, Columbia and Georgia State.  Others to offer included Cal and Davidson while had had interest from Arkansas, Harvard, University of Houston, Western Carolina, Furman, and Northeastern.  See his profile on Verbal Commits.

Whiteside is ranked #13 in the state of Tennessee by HoopSeen.com.

D1Spects' analysis of the combo guard is as follows: "He can really stroke the ball. Troy is equally dangerous pushing the ball in transition, where he like wise constantly has his head up and eyes scanning the court, while he shows extremely good control of the ball with both hands, even when operating at full speed. Troy relies mostly on subtle changes of speed and direction to get by his opponent."

 On Whiteside, The Knoxville News Sentinel writes:
Webb guard Troy Whiteside Jr. chooses Cornell
Troy Whiteside Jr. has been driven for years to reach his potential as a basketball player, yet it's not the No. 1 goal for the Webb School of Knoxville senior.

Whiteside wants to be a doctor.

That would explain why Whiteside turned down several Division I scholarship offers for basketball, with other offers potentially coming this season, and signed Monday to attend Cornell of the Ivy League, which plays Division I basketball but doesn't offer athletic scholarships.

"From the start, I was really looking for a good balance academically and athletically with the academics coming first," Whiteside said. "That really fueled my decision to go to the Ivy League and Cornell."

Whiteside, a 6-foot-3 point guard/shooting guard, turned down Division I offers from Liberty, American and Samford. Arkansas and California also were recruiting Whiteside.

"Who knows if he played the season out, the different offers he would have received?" Webb coach Ricky Norris said. "He's had a lot of interest from a variety of different schools. His improvement has been fun to watch."

Whiteside, averaging more than 20 points going into Friday's home game against rival Catholic, saw his recruiting stock soar during the summer while playing for Game Elite, an AAU team based in Atlanta.

It was a team loaded with future Division I players, including 6-7 small forward Jaylen Brown of Marietta, Ga., the nation's No. 2 overall prospect.

Game Elite played tournaments coast to coast in front of the nation's highest profile coaches.

"It's a ton of great exposure," Whiteside said. "You play top-notch talent every single weekend, all across the country. You play against great players and you practice with great players. It's continual competitive basketball all the time, so it really helps you get better and helps you learn how to play with really good players."

Norris said playing for Game Elite was a change for Whiteside.

"I think one way he benefitted was he learned how to be a really good role player on a phenomenal team," Norris said. "He's brought leadership back to our team and he's playing at an incredibly high level."

The same could be same for Whiteside's academics.

"I can tell you, when it comes to the classroom and the court, I've never been around a kid as focused as Troy," Norris said. "It's rare to find a kid as focused on both academics and athletics at the level Troy is. I think his teachers would echo that comment."

As for his career goal, Whiteside wants to be an orthopedic surgeon.

Last summer, Whiteside shadowed Dr. David Hovis, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Knoxville.

"I was really even more interested in being a doctor after I did that this summer," said Whiteside, whose brother, Donovan, played at Webb and Centre (Ky.) College.

Before he goes to medical school, Whiteside will get a chance to showcase his basketball skills at Cornell.

Norris won't be surprised to see Whiteside in the headlines.

"I think he has the potential to be an elite Ivy League guard," Norris said. "I think he has all-conference potential. I don't know how early it will happen, but it's definitely there."
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