The Houston Rockets’ first round draft pick, Royce White out of Iowa State, is absent from training camp as he deals with an anxiety issue that includes a fear of flying on airplanes, according to The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.
The team said his absence is due to a “personnel matter” and head coach Kevin McHale said he has “no idea” when the former All-American will return:
“He needs to be here,” McHale said. “There’s no question.”
White, who was selected No. 16 in this years draft, had reportedly joked about his fear of flying with the media last month during team workouts. He confirmed at that time that he and his doctors are working on a plan with the Rockets to deal with his anxiety issues. White did not give a reason as to why that plan is still not solidified and would not give a timetable for dealing with the issue to the extent that he is able to join the team. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey didn’t offer much insight into the situation other than to say that “it’s always better to be here than not” and that the organization is committed to White’s long-term success.
The Rockets kick off their season with a game on Halloween on the road against the Detroit Pistons.