Black Student Athletics: Willette White

Another inspirational Black student-athlete from the University of Idaho is Willette White, who played for the Vandals women’s basketball team from 1979 to 1981. During her collegiate career at the University of Idaho, she averaged 11.5 points per game and had 169 steals and 356 assists, leading the Vandals women’s team to their 64-22 record. She also helped lead the team to back-to-back NCWSA Division II Northwest Region titles in 1980 and 1981, as well as qualifying for the AIAW Division II national tournament both years. She was a two-time AIAW All-Region Team honoree and a Second Team AIAW All-American in 1981.1

After her time at the University of Idaho, Willette White served as a graduate assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at the Ohio State University from 1982 to 1984, and as a single-year assistant coach at Iowa State. Since 1986, she has been an assistant coach in the highly successful women’s program at the University of Washington.2 She was elected into the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges’ Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Vandals Hall of Fame in 2008.3


  1. “Willette White,” University of Idaho Hall of Fame, 2008,
  2. “Willette White,” NWAC Hall of Fame,
  3. “Willette White,” University of Utah Women’s Basketball,


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The Seminal History and Prospective Future of Blacks at the University of Idaho Copyright © 2023 by Brody Gasper and Sydney Freeman Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.