For Montclair State men’s basketball junior guard Myles Mitchell-White, having grown up spending time between Trenton and Lawrence, New Jersey, has been a unique experience that has made him who he is today.
“It is definitely one of a kind and [Trenton] teaches you a lot about life in many ways,” Mitchell-White said. “My experience is unique and it teaches you about life overall and how not everything is going to be good at times but not everything is going to be bad.”
Growing up, Mitchell-White found motivation in women like his mother and grandmothers.
“Learning about some of the things they have gone through… seeing how they are still here and moving forward,” Mitchell-White said.
His parents have always inspired him to push forward and never stop. During his critical childhood moments, he turned to the basketball court to be his outlet in times of need.
“I would always run to play basketball,” Mitchell-White said. “Playing would help me clear my mind and put a smile on my face.”
Before Mitchell-White became Lawrence High School’s all-time men’s basketball scorer and earned the New Jersey Athletic Conference’s (NJAC) Rookie of the Year during his freshman year at Montclair State, he always had his mindset aimed at doing more than just academics.
“At a young age, I knew I wanted to play collegiate sports,” Mitchell-White said. “I didn’t want to just be a regular student.”
Mitchell-White chose Montclair State not only to grow as a basketball player but more importantly as a person – and he did just that.
Mitchell-White had a stellar freshman year, earning D3 Hoops Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year in addition to collecting 10 NJAC Rookie of the Week honors that season.
After freshman year, he made the tough decision to transfer to Christian Brothers University, a Division II school down in Memphis, Tennessee. Though it was not what he expected, Mitchell-White was able to learn more about himself.
“It helped me understand myself off the court more than anything,” Mitchell-White said.
Just last year, his college career came full circle when he got the opportunity to come back to Montclair State and join the team once again, this time with new head coach Justin Potts at the helm. Mitchell-White spoke about this season and how the Red Hawks team is one of his favorite teams he has ever been a part of.
“These guys are just an amazing group of guys that love to play the game basketball,” Mitchell-White said. “It’s just fun on and off the court — it’s just different. I’ve never really had a team [work] as a whole like this.”
Potts credits Mitchell-White’s impact and effort within the team and how his style of play brings out his childhood roots.
“The pride and the passion he plays with is a staple of those guys from the Trenton area,” Potts said. “They’re going to be the toughest guys on the floor and they will play with an edge to him that is displayed every time he steps on the floor.”
Most people see Mitchell-White as strictly a basketball player, but he has bigger goals to become a child psychiatrist and help the youth and younger generations of the world, while also giving back to his community of Trenton and Lawrence where he spent his childhood.
“That’s really my goal: to help kids and mentor them in some capacity,” Mitchell-White said. “Consistently showing them the right ways and give them positive feedback and influence to grow and be the right kind of people in this world.”
Mitchell-White explains the importance behind motivating the next generation of kids.
“Where I come from, that area overall made me want to do this,” Mitchell-White said. “Kids are the future of our country and our world and we have to handle them with care.”
Potts supports Mitchell-White and also believes he is doing something great by showing others that he is more than just a basketball player.
“The most important thing for Myles is that he wants to display to people that it doesn’t just have to be basketball,” Potts said. “He wants to help guys understand there are other things out there and [that] he sees it in a bigger picture. He is a perfect example of that.”
Potts also added that Mitchell-White is already doing big things by wanting to help out those who look up to him.
“To see him want to find a way to impact young people… that’s going to make such an impact… to give back to kids,” Potts said. “There is nothing more rewarding [than that] and he is obviously a guy that has thought [that through]. It is rewarding for us as a coaching staff to hear and see that.”
Though Mitchell-White will take many memories from Montclair State with him, like his buzzer-beater against Rowan University back in his freshman year, what he will really remember is how much he has grown throughout his time here.
“I’ll look back on my college experience at Montclair State and say that I really grew up from a kid to an adult,” Mitchell-White said. “I’ve gone through a lot of these last four years and it showed me you have to grow up in life.”
Though Myles Mitchell-White has had immense fun playing basketball, it is clear that the journey ahead of him is much bigger than that.