The Gore Report: UNF’s athletes aren’t always found in the gym

Spinnaker

Six years ago in Apopka, Fla., Wesley White began taking his pool game very seriously.

He began playing pool with his church youth group, and after impressing friends and family with his skill and dedication, his family bought him a table.

White, a UNF freshman majoring in business management, now spends up to three hours each day playing pool mainly in the afternoon after class.

But my first meeting with White didn’t take place in the afternoon after class.

It happened at 2 a.m. as I took a break from working on articles for the upcoming issue of The Spinnaker. Living in the Fountains dormitory, I decided to walk downstairs to the convenience store and get a soda when I saw my roommates playing pool in the Game Room.

But another pool table caught my attention. I took a few glances over to see White nail shot after shot. Unbelievable shots for me, but for Wesley, those shots were simple.

One of my roommates approached him out of pure curiosity and asked if he knew any trick shots, and he did.

For the next hour, trick after trick amazed me. Just when I thought, this guy couldn’t impress me anymore, he did.

However, trick shots are not White’s specialty. He plays mostly nine-ball.

He plays in regional tournaments as well as tournaments in Jacksonville.

The farthest White ever traveled to play in a tournament is North Carolina. Two weeks ago, he was in Savannah at the Southeast Open where he finished six of 30 in the amateur portion of the tournament.

And it wasn’t very hard for UNF to attain White either.

When UNF tries to recruit students, it likes to really promote things about Jacksonville that in-state public school rivals Florida and Florida State do not have:

  • UNF lies within minutes of the beach.
  • Jacksonville has a pro football team.
  • St. Augustine, the oldest city in the nation, rests a short drive away from UNF.

Students focus a lot on the area the school is in before registering.

But White went through a simple process. His friend from high school decided to go to UNF. White then did some research and found Jacksonville has some really good pool halls, that persuaded him enough.

White said he has won local tournaments but as for regional tournaments, the highest he has finished fifth.

White also plays pool for money sometimes, but admitted he never makes any money.

“I come out about even,” he said.

As he continues to play, White said he has a fatigue problem he constantly tries fix.

“I need to be able to finish tournaments,” he said.

White said has a long-term goal of earning the title of No. 1 in the world.

I think he can do it.