The Bulls just drafted guard Coby White out of North Carolina.
A few days before the draft he wrote an article about his father for The Players’ Tribune. It’s a gut-wrenching story about how important his dad was in his life and how he coped with losing him to liver cancer.
White’s father got diagnosed with liver cancer a few years ago. He wrote about his emotions of finding out his cancer was terminal and then later learning to live without someone so important in his life. The whole story is must-read stuff and can show Bulls fans a lot about the person the team is getting.
He questioned his religion at the time, saying he was mad at God for what was happening, and going to happen, to his dad.
All I could think about was how I was a person of incredibly strong faith, and now I was about to lose my father. Everything I had known and believed since I was a little boy seemed to be crashing down all at once.
I kept thinking, If he’d wanted to, God could’ve stopped this. And in my head I was letting him know how pissed I was. It was like …
Why are you taking my dad from me?
I’m a 17-year-old kid.
I need my dad!!!!!
White goes on to explain that his father, who played college ball at North Carolina Central, was the first person to put a basketball in his hands. He describes the games of HORSE against his dad in their driveway, all the TV they watched together and how his dad would reach out to his friends to see how they were doing.
And he’d kiss me on the cheek, too. Not just like on my birthday or New Years or whatever … I’m talking everywhere. In public. Around people. He didn’t care. He had no problem letting everyone know that he loved his son.
You just don’t see a lot of fathers these days kiss their sons on the cheek.
But looking back on it now, you know what: That’s actually a pretty dope thing for a dad to do.
When his father died two years ago, White had to adjust to losing his hero. He wouldn’t talk to people very much at first, but gradually came to peace with what happened and reconnected with his faith.
He now has the letters FMF, which stands for For My Father, tattooed on him and includes them at the end of every Instagram post.
White didn’t have his father with him on draft night when the Bulls took him, but he was asked what his father would say to him if he was with him at the draft.
"He’d tell me how proud he was for me and how he loved me and he would just tell me this is only the beginning for me," White said to reporters. "I’ve got a lot of success coming my way, I’ve just got to stay on the right path, continue to be who I am, be myself, stay true to myself, never forget where I came from, and just continue to work like I have my whole life."
White’s story made Dwyane Wade, and likely many others, a fan of his.
Thanks for sharing this story Coby White. You just helped many people understand you and have allowed them to open up and deal with things in their lives that they’re struggling with. https://t.co/kJ0Z466Bqk— DWade (@DwyaneWade) June 18, 2019