C's Newest Dad, Derrick White, Recounts Life-Changing Day
Derrick White woke up Thursday morning hoping that he’d able to help deliver the Boston Celtics’ first win of the Eastern Conference Finals later that night in Miami.
Instead, he had another delivery to attend to, as he received news that his wife, Hannah, was about to give birth to their first child back home in Boston.
The Whites had been anticipating that the big day would arrive when the Celtics were home for the middle games of the series. However, Hendrix James White had other plans in mind, as he decided to make an early appearance.
“Once I found out she was in labor, I just tried to get that first flight out,” White recalled Saturday morning of his attempt to leave Miami as quickly as possible. “I missed one flight, which would have got me there earlier, but finally got on one and was just texting with [Hannah’s] mom the whole time while she eventually gave birth to our son.
“It was just a special feeling,” he added. “I wasn't there, but even just getting pictures and videos and all that on the plane, it was just special, and he's already changed our life.”
Ironically, White’s son is the second Hendrix to be born into the Celtics family this year. On Jan. 17 – less than a month before White was traded from San Antonio to Boston – Rob Williams welcomed into the world his first son, Hendrix Rome Williams.
“We picked it before I got traded, and I was like, yeah, it's kind of unique, we don't know anybody with that name,” said White, a Jimi Hendrix fan who already has artwork of the renowned musician hanging outside his son’s room. “And then I get traded here, and in the first couple weeks someone's like, ‘Oh, that's what Rob named his kid.’ I was like, we really named it because it was kind of unique. So we’ll just be Hendrix. 2.0 and we'll go from there.”
By chance, NBC Sports Boston had Williams on for their pregame interview Thursday afternoon, and he shared with Abby Chin his message for the newest dad of the team.
“Embrace it, enjoy it, we’re here, we got your back, be with your family,” Williams advised White. “It’s something that will change your life forever. There’s nothing more important than that, in my opinion.”
Indeed, the Celtics had White’s back. Later that night, his teammates earned a 127-102 win at FTX Arena. With the victory, Boston tied up its series with the Heat at 1-1 and gained home-court advantage moving forward.
The thrilling win also became one of White’s first bonding moments with his son, as the father-son duo watched from home.
“Sitting with him, watching the game, cheering us on from home, it was cool,” said White. “Just one of those moments that I'll have forever.”
White added that he’s feeling well-rested and ready for Game 3 Saturday night at TD Garden, where he hopes to help deliver his first win as a dad.