Summer 2024

Chicago Bulls' Coby White thanks God after rookie record seven 3-pointers in one quarter

Chicago Bulls guard Coby White set an NBA rookie record Tuesday night, sinking seven 3-pointers in one quarter, as part of a 120-102 victory over the New York Knicks. White, the No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft, scored 27 points overall, topping the Knicks’ total team output for the quarter.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

“Coby was terrific,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said afterward. “The beauty in Coby’s game is he let it come to him, and also we found him. We kept finding him and feeding him. He was just terrific.”

After the game, White was asked by the in-arena reporter what it was like to be in the zone.

“It’s just a blessing. I give all the glory to God, He put me in this position. I just want to thank God for it, it’s unbelievable. I surprised myself, I didn’t think I was going to keep hitting [shots],” he said.

White’s performance occurred in front of his former college coach, Roy Williams. During White’s one year with Williams at the University of North Carolina, he averaged 16.1 points and 4.1 assists a game.

“[Williams] just told me go to out there and be Coby,” White said. “That’s all I’ve got to do. It’s a blessing that they came all the way out here to watch me play in a regular-season game.”

White then asked if Williams could show up at all his games, saying, “I haven’t shot like that in a long time.”

White has talked about his faith in the past, particularly this past June when he wrote in The Players Tribune about the months leading up to his father’s death from liver cancer. He described the anger he felt in the aftermath of his father’s passing, most of it directed at God. White wrote that God could have stopped the cancer’s spread and God could have eased the pain.

White continued to perform on the court despite his anguish and anger at God off it.

He had already earned a scholarship to North Carolina before his dad passed, but in his senior year of high school, White became the top scorer in the history of North Carolina high school basketball and earned a spot in the McDonald’s All-American Game. In his first and only season of college basketball last season, White helped the Tar Heels earn a share of the ACC regular-season title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But, as White wrote, the pain of his loss remained.

His anger toward God, however, didn’t. The closeness with God that White experienced through prayer has made his relationship with the Lord stronger than it’s ever been, even through the greatest trial of his life. Now, he prays that God would bless his father’s soul.

“I just started talking to God a lot more, and praying every night,” White wrote for The Players’ Tribune, “and after a while, I started to get a sense of relief. Ultimately, I think that, through all of this, I have actually gotten a lot closer to God. I now feel more connected than ever. And it feels really good knowing that, and being secure about it, as I embark on the next chapter of my life.”

White and the Bulls (4-7) next take the court on Thursday in Milwaukee.

— North Carolina’s Coby White looks to God in midst of pain as NBA Draft approaches
— UNC’s Cameron Johnson says ‘isn’t God good’ after going 11th overall in NBA Draft
— Miami Heat’s Kendrick Nunn credits faith in Jesus during historic start to NBA career