Former NBA Player Royce White Is Running for US Congress

FRISCO, TEXAS - AUGUST 06: Royce White #30 of the Power reacts during a game against the Aliens during BIG3 Week Eight at Comerica Center on August 06, 2022 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images for BIG3)

Former Sacramento Kings forward Royce White is running for the Republican primary in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. White announced his candidacy on Tuesday, via his social media.

Currently, the seat is held by Rep. Ilhan Omar. She was elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020. Moreover, as a member of the Democratic Party, Omar is the latest in a long line of Democrats to hold Minnesota’s Congressional District Five’s seat; it’s been ‘blue’ since 1963.

White, though, is aspiring to change the guard. The 30-year-old asserts that people in the district have been voting “against their own interests.” Furthermore, he believes that a Republican outlook is necessary.

“This district has been voting blue for a long time and I hope that I can shake that up. I hope that I can make people see that for a long time they voted against their own interests.”

Royce White told the Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor

The ex-NBA player also promises not to be a “sellout.”

“Like many communities in crisis across our country, we need leaders who will not sellout. I’m going to represent the people of our district in a bigger fight for our citizenship.”

Royce White said in a statement via his official website

To advance to the general election, White will first face off against fellow Republicans Shukri Abdullahi Abdirahman and Cicely Davis.

Royce White’s NBA Career

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 21: Royce White #30 of the Houston Rockets poses for a portrait during the 2012 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 21, 2012 at the MSG Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

White was drafted 16th overall by the Houston Rockets in 2012. However, he never played a game for the Rockets. The Minnesota native suffered from anxiety and had a fear of flying, creating tension between him and the team. White also called out the NBA for its mental health protocols—a move he asserts cost him his career.

“Early in my career as a professional athlete I fought against the NBA to create a mental health policy when there wasn’t one. I paid the price with my career. I said no to the money so I could keep my integrity. I never sold out.”

Royce White said via his website

White eventually made his NBA debut with the Kings in 2014. He played in three games for the Kings.