Kawhi Leonard Replaced on Olympic Team by Coloradan Derrick White | Westword

Derrick White Replaces Kawhi Leonard, Becomes Latest Olympian From Colorado

White will join professional golfer Wyndham Clark and three USA Women's Soccer stars at the Olympics in Paris.
Derrick White already won big this summer in the NBA Finals. Now he'll try to win some more at the Summer Olympics in Paris.
Derrick White already won big this summer in the NBA Finals. Now he'll try to win some more at the Summer Olympics in Paris. Elsa/Getty Images
Share this:
With the news that Kawhi Leonard has withdrawn from the USA Basketball Men's National Team in advance of the Olympics this summer, Colorado's own Derrick White will get the nod to travel to Paris.

White is already having a dream year, winning an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics, welcoming his second child and becoming an internet sensation after chipping his tooth during the NBA finals. Now he will join stars like LeBron James, Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant on Team USA at the Olympics.

The NBA All-Defensive Team member grew up in Colorado and had an unusual journey to NBA stardom, starting his college career in Division II at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, before transferring to play Division I basketball at the University of Colorado Boulder.

White was picked late in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs and only joined the USA Basketball program in 2018, unlike many on the roster who came up through the youth system. He was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2022 and has become integral on a team filled with stars. His Celtics teammates Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum are also suiting up for the Olympics, so even though White is a late addition, he may be able to slide in seamlessly to help the Dream Team vie for gold.

To do so, he may have to play Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray's Team Canada or Nikola Jokic's strong Serbian squad.

White is far from the only Coloradan to compete in the Olympics this year. Headlining the Olympians from the Centennial State are three U.S. Women's Soccer stars: captain Lindsey Horan, and sharpshooters Sophia Smith and Mallory Swanson.

Here is a complete list of everyone from or living in Colorado who will be competing in the Olympics this year:

Canyon Barry,  3 x 3 basketball

Jimmer Fredette, 3 x 3 basketball

Olivia Cummins, cycling (women's team pursuit)

Taylor Knibb, cycling triathlon (Women's Individual Time Trial Women's Individual)

Amos Riley, cycling mountain bike (men's cross country)

Christopher Blevins, cycling mountain bike (men's cross country)

Adrienne Lyle, equestrian (dressage team and individual)

Wyndham Clark, golf

Jess Thoennes, rowing (women's pair)

Rylan William Kissel, shooting (10m Air Rifle Men, 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men)

Keith Sanderson, shooting (25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men)

Lindsey Horan, soccer

Sophia Smith, soccer

Mallory Swanson, soccer

Colin Duffy, sport climbing (boulder and lead)

Brooke Raboutou, sport climbing (boulder and lead)

Emma Weber, swimming (100 breaststroke)

Valarie Allman, track and field (discus)

Valerie Constien, track and field (3,000m steeplechase)

Elise Cranny, track and field (5,000m)

Anna Hall, track and field (heptathlon)

William Kincaid, track (10,000m)

Leonard Korir, track (marathon)

Haleigh Washington, volleyball

Kamal Bey, wrestling (men's Greco-Roman 77kg)

Derrick White, basketball
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.