The Houston Rockets are going to accommodate Royce White’s anxiety, and Royce White is going to accommodate the Rockets by joining the team’s training camp Monday.
According to the Houston Chronicle, White, a rookie from Iowa State who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, will be allowed to take a bus to and from Rockets games that are within driving distance.
“What the Rockets are doing is astronomically appreciated by me and should be by the mental health community,” White told the Chronicle.
White’s anxiety attacks are often triggered by flights, crowds and conditioning runs, but can quickly spread to other aspects of his life if the initial trigger is not properly managed. His condition made many NBA teams wary of drafting him, even though his unique skill set made him as difficult a matchup as existed in college basketball last season. The Rockets took White with the 16th pick.
But when Rockets training camp began earlier this week in McAllen, Texas, White wasn’t there. He stayed behind, working on what he described as a plan to manage his anxiety. That included coming up with a way to cut down on the number of flights he has to board.
White will supply the bus himself, and intends to travel upwards of nine hours make it to various road games. He said by leaving directly after practice, he’ll be able to maintain his usual sleep schedule, which is another important aspect of treating his anxiety.
“One of the things that I know is this is my responsibility,” White told the Chronicle. “I had a letdown. In my defense, these things are unprecedented. To travel by way of bus or doing some of the things I did at Iowa State to head off anxiety, it was indicated to me through the draft process, sometimes in a joking way, that most teams wouldn’t allow that.”