Basketball

Barako taps NBA vet Rodney White to replace injured DerMarr Johnson

After losing DerMarr Johnson to a groin injury, Barako Bull is bringing in another former NBA first-round draftee in hopes of saving its slumping campaign.

Barako has signed Rodney White, the Detroit Pistons’ ninth overall pick in 2001. He is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Wednesday afternoon to reinforce the energy against the Powerade Tigers, according to coach Junel Baculi.

“Raffy Casyao, our team manager, was able to contact him and he agreed to play. But then again, hindi tayo nakakasiguro hanggat di pa siya dumadating dito. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will arrive Wednesday and play in our game against the new powerhouse team in the league, Powerade,” said Baculi in a telephone interview.

Unlike Johnson, a perimeter player, White is described by Baculi as a player who can play inside and out.

“I think he’s more of a power forward, but he can also play from the outside. We’ve seen clips of his games through the Internet, but of course, it’s different from actual games. Bottom line here, we have a healthy import at least,” added Baculi, whose team shares the cellar with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Meralco Bolts with identical 1-3 win-loss records.

Despite being a high draft pick, White played in only 16 games in his rookie season, averaging 3.5 points in 8.1 minutes.

The following year, the 6-foot-9 White was traded by the Pistons to the Denver Nuggets, with whom he spent two and a half seasons.

The 31-year-old White also had a stint with the Golden State Warriors, where he last saw NBA action in the 2004-05 season before becoming a globetrotter. He also had stints in Spain, Italy, China, Puerto Rico and South Korea.

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