Take flight, White.
Whitney White’s father played in the NBA. His brother plays for the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s safe to say basketball is in his DNA. Growing up in Argo, a suburb of Chicago, White had three choices as a child: Church, school, or playing basketball. Credited to the values instilled into Whitney at an early age is a reason for his success. From acting to SlamBall, White took flight. He is known for his high-flying, crowd-pleasing dunks, but now he’s heading to Bejing to teach the game he’s mastered.
What is SlamBall?
SlamBall is the first team extreme sport. It combines basketball, football, and hockey. It’s a full contact sport. It is played in what looks like a hockey ring. There are four trampolines under each basket. The court is the same size as a regulation NBA court. There are eight people on the court, four from each team, but the rules are totally different than traditional basketball.
Who plays SlamBall?
Stuntmen, football players, and basketball players. We have a wide range of athletes who play. Even if you played basketball, it doesn’t mean you will be good at Slamball. This is a whole other sport. It may look like basketball but it’s so much more.
What advice would you give someone trying out for SlamBall?
Train by doing gymnastics because those trampolines are no joke. You have to have aerial awareness if you want to play, and you can not be timid. You have to learn how to fly.
When did you start playing SlamBall?
I started playing in 2002, the second season, which was the first televised season on Spike TV. I played for the Rumble. I was on Coach Carter’s team (the famous Coach Carter — the movie “Coach Carter” was based on his life) and we won the first ever SlamBall title. I was also named MVP that year.
How many seasons have there been?
Five total: Three in Los Angeles, and two in the Global series, in Beijing and Shanghai.
You’re heading to Bejing to teach SlamBall?
Yes. I will be teaching the game in the classroom, and then coaching the same group on the court. I’m excited about this new opportunity, to teach a new generation the game I love.
4 words that describe you?
What are your personal goals?
To learn as much as possible in China, experience the culture while teaching mine. I want to learn the blueprint of the SlamBall facility. Then, open one in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Words by Danielle Adefeso