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Coby White may be goofy, but he has serious expectations for his rookie season

Coby White talks about maintaining his luscious locks, singing karaoke, his expectations for this season and more in this week’s Chat Room.

Coby White went to a Sky game earlier this month to show support for the local WNBA team.
NBAE/Getty Images

It’s hard to miss Coby White when he enters a room. He towers over everyone else, standing 6-5 with his voluminous hair adding several inches.

White’s unique Afro has become part of his identity, and it took on a life of its own this summer at the NBA Draft.

After the Bulls selected White with the seventh overall pick, his draft-night photo went viral because his hat didn’t quite fit over his signature locks.

White wasn’t at all surprised by the attention he received.

‘‘Everybody was telling me, ‘When you get drafted, they’re gonna say stuff,’ ’’ White told the Sun-Times.

White’s hair also complements his personality. His older brother, Will, called him ‘‘goofy.’’

‘‘You’re right,’’ Coby said, gesturing to Will. ‘‘I like to laugh and I like to have fun. . . . You can’t go through life being serious all the time.’’

White knows to dial back his daffiness when he’s on the court. And the 19-year-old has some high expectations for his first NBA season.

‘‘I feel like I can make an impact by me just being me and just playing hard,’’ White said.

White, who broke Michael Jordan’s scoring record for a North Carolina freshman last season, will be competing with Tomas Satoransky and Kris Dunn for playing time at point guard.

He is confident his shooting ability and speed will translate to the NBA, but he also knows he has a lot to learn.

‘‘There’s always going to be growing pains,’’ White said. ‘‘But I’m going to control what I can control.’’

The Sun-Times caught up with White at a recent Sky game. Get to know him in the Chat Room.

What’s your secret to maintaining the volume of your hair?

CW: ‘‘I use Deva Curls to manage it, but it looks kind of bad right now.’’

You recently attended Dwyane Wade’s ‘‘The Invitational’’ camp, a weeklong event at which the former Heat star helps mentor young NBA talent on and off the court. What did you take away from that experience?

CW: ‘‘A lot. I think it was more for me getting better being around a lot of talented guys. But also off the court, D-Wade’s business mind is crazy. So just to take away and learn from him on and off the court was key for me.’’

If you could challenge one person to a one-on-one game, whom would you pick?

CW: ‘‘Kobe Bryant.’’

Why?

CW: ‘‘If I challenged him, I probably wouldn’t win. But just to pick his brain and learn from him.’’

Are there any guys in the NBA you might be starstruck to play against?

CW: ‘‘Shoot, I did it at D-Wade’s when I was on the same court with Devin Booker and them. But I feel like Damian Lillard would be the most because he’s my favorite player. So when I play against him, I might be a little starstruck to be on the same court.’’

What brings you to a Sky game?

CW: ‘‘Just support. I haven’t been to one because I haven’t been in town a lot, but I heard they had a home game, so I wanted to come out and support. I watch WNBA on TV all the time.’’

Who are some of your favorite WNBA players to watch?

CW: ‘‘Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Candace Parker, obviously. There’s a lot of talent. Elena Delle Donne, Diana Taurasi.’’

What’s been your favorite part about Chicago?

CW: ‘‘The city and the fans show a lot of love, and they all support you. I feel like they’re all excited that I got drafted here. They were really welcoming, and that was good for me.’’

Are there any restaurants you’ve already fallen in love with?

CW: ‘‘I like, uh, what is it called? Grand Lux?’’

Grand Lux Cafe?

CW: ‘‘Yeah. I ate there, like, four times already. I thought it was really good.’’

You realize that’s not special to Chicago, right? That’s a chain.

CW: [Laughs] ‘‘I mean, it’s close to where I live. It’s convenient and good.’’

What’s your favorite food?

CW: ‘‘Chicken Alfredo.’’

What is something you don’t leave your house without?

CW: ‘‘My phone.’’

Other than your phone and your wallet.

CW: ‘‘My chain [pulls the gold necklace out from under his T-shirt]. It’s a zero. My mom bought it for me in high school, and I just reminisce [about] everything that I went through in high school. So I never leave anywhere without it. . . . I can’t play with it on, but it’s with me until right before the game. And then right after the game, I put it back on.’’

What’s your favorite karaoke song?

CW: ‘‘ ‘Ratchet Happy Birthday,’ by Drake.’’

Can you give us a preview of what that would sound like?

CW: ‘‘Nah, I’m chillin’ right now.’’