Stilman White is a champion college basketball player who has chosen to interrupt his education and athletic prowess at the University of North Carolina to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.”
Stilman is the son of Erin and Shannon White, born on July 27, 1992, in Orange, California. His youngest sister was adopted from Ethiopia. Stilman is 6′ tall and weighs 160 lbs, and is coming off a wildly successful freshman year playing basketball for the Tarheels. Here are some of the highlights of his career thus far:
Prep: Earned first-team Associated Press and North Carolina Basketball Coaches all-state honors and was the Mideastern Conference and District 2 Player of the Year in 2011 • Two-time team captain, MVP and all-district honoree • Played for Coach Brett Queen • Scored 1,078 points and had 231 assists in 76 career games • Averaged a career-high 20.5 points and 3.0 assists per game as a senior • Hoggard’s all-time leader in made free throws (280) and three-point field goal percentage (.381) • Led Hoggard to the conference tournament championship in 2011 • One of three players in school history to score 1,000 or more points. 
At UNC: White was a starter at Guard for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. 
White credits good coaching for moving him from the bench to the starting position in the NCAA championships, but he also knows he can and will be a better player in the future. Dropping out for two years to serve as a Mormon missionary is commonplace at BYU, but not in North Carolina. White’s coach has given him an exercise routine he can follow while serving in the Utah Ogden Mission of the LDS Church. Utah may sound a little boring compared to other locations missionaries can serve, but the Utah missions are among the most baptizing in the world.
White has solid plans to return to UNC the fall of 2014 and likes to quell rumors that he might head in another direction. “I intend on coming back to Chapel Hill,” White said. “I love going to school there. I love playing basketball there. So that’s definitely where I want to be.” 
White won’t even be able to follow the team’s progress while he is serving a mission, or watch any of the games. Mormon missionaries arise early and follow a rigorous schedule of study, proselyting, and performing community service. They don’t watch television at all during the two years they are away. White is sure to get reports in letters and emails from home, but that is all. When he returns, he will be more mature. Most athletes who serve Mormon missions feel like they lose nothing physically from serving, but gain in maturity.