When fans think of Iowa State basketball prior to the era of Georges Niang, Monte Morris, and Matt Thomas -- particularly of the early 2010s -- a few names come to mind. For me, it's Marvin Brackins, Melvin Ejim, and definitely Royce White.

During his brief tenure playing basketball in Ames (he transferred from Minnesota and wasn't eligible to receive playing time until the 2011-2012 season), White cemented his name among the best to ever come through the program. For the lone season he represented the Cyclones, the Minneapolis native put up 13.4 points, hauled in 9.3 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists per game while averaging just 31.5 minutes a contest.

Along the way, he earned All-American status, was placed on the Big 12 First Team, and was named the Basketball Times National Newcomer of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. He then went on to be selected 16th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

White was a hooper.

And now, as of two days ago, he'll be viewed as a political figure. The former basketball player announced that he will oppose incumbent Democrat Ilhan Omar in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. It was initially unclear as to what party he would represent, but he has since updated his Twitter bio saying that he is running as the GOP candidate.

As written by Jared Stansbury of CycloneFanatic.com, White started picking up political momentum in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in 2020. He led "several protests in the Minneapolis area in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in 2020. He’s since picked up steam in conservative circles with his stances on human rights violations in China, being anti-vaccination and anti-mandates."

One of the stances he made came in an interview following his play in BIG 3 basketball – a professional 3 on 3 league started by Ice Cube and Co-Founder Jeff Kwatinetz. This is what his website, RoyceWhite.US, says about the interview and his following political stances:

"On week one of the season, White appeared at a game in a t-shirt that read “Free The Uyghurs”. After a game-winning basket, White did a post-game interview on CBS with John Sally, where he called for 2 Million Uyghurs to be freed and released from concentration camps. As the season went on, White would touch on taboo topics such as Gain of Function Research, The Federal Reserve, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Larry Hoover, Jeff Fort, Muammar Gaddafi, The Great Reset, Ivermectin, Me Too, etc."

The issue he has emphasized regarding the Uyghurs is explained by BBC:

"Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls 're-education camps', and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.

There is also evidence that Uyghurs are being used as forced labor and of women being forcibly sterilized. Some former camp detainees have also alleged they were tortured and sexually abused."

China denies the allegations.

White will face off with Omar come the senatorial elections that will take place on Tuesday, November 8 of this year.

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