PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Daphane White hasn’t even played a game for Gulf Coast, but her impact is already being felt inside the Weathers/Wentzell Center.
“Daphane is a great kid. We’re enjoying having her here, and she definitely is a program changer,” MGCCC women’s basketball head coach Hope Adams said.
It’s that same promise that Mississippi State saw during White’s prep career at St. Martin, signing the five-star prospect to a scholarship.
But, in less than a year, her time in Starkville came to a close before it ever really began.
“I just felt like it wasn’t - I didn’t like it there (anymore)," White told WLOX. "I just felt like I wanted to start over with my whole process of choosing better. Choosing what I wanted to do, a college that I really wanted to go to, where I fit in. I came (to Gulf Coast) to just start the process over.”
When White announced her plans to transfer, Gulf Coast head coach Hope Adams almost couldn’t believe her ears.
“At first, I was a little skeptical, of course. You’re at a top program. I was encouraging her to stay at first, because you’re at the top of the food chain," Adams said. "I’m always for the kid first. But, when her mind was made up, she wanted to go, as a JUCO coach, I had to do my job. I was just excited she chose us, that was big for us.”
Having to sit out the fall semester after her transfer, White watched from the sidelines as her new teammates battled through the first seven games of the season, compiling a 4-3 record and snapping a 14-game conference losing streak in the process. However, all signs point to a smooth transition when she suits up for the Lady Bulldogs for the first time this Saturday.
“I played with some of them, I played AAU basketball with them so we’ve already got chemistry and stuff,” White said. “It just made it a lot better.”
“When she hits the floor, she definitely makes our team a whole lot better," Adams said. "My guard’s confidence goes up when she’s on the floor, and she’s a joy to be around.”
White hopes to sign with another Division I school after she graduates from Gulf Coast in May 2020, and aims to take a different approach to her recruiting the second time around.
“I learned to take my time through the process, to choose (wisely)," White said of her experience with Mississippi State. "Don’t just choose what everyone else wants you to choose. Choose what you want to choose and go from there.”
White makes her MGCCC debut Saturday at 2 p.m. as the Lady Bulldogs host Bishop State.