Celtics legend Joseph Henry “Jo Jo” White passed away at the age of 71 on Tuesday, the team announced.
White was drafted ninth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1969, and was later inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. The legendary point guard was a seven-time All-Star and MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals.
He spent 10 seasons in Boston, averaging more than 40 minutes a night at times, before playing two more upon retiring. He remained a pillar in the community beyond his years in the league.
The durable, fundamentally sound leader won a pair of NBA titles with the Celtics and a gold medal with Team USA in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. You can also find his number 10 hanging from the rafters at the Garden, along with a lot his fellow teammates.
Over his 12-year NBA career, the former Kansas Jayhawk recorded 14,399 points, 4,095 assists and 3,345 rebounds.
Here’s an official statement from the Celtics:
“We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White. He was a champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian, and a Hall of Famer. His contributions to the team’s championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family.”
White’s daughter, Meka White Morris, said that her father died of “complications (pneumonia) from dementia that was brought on by the removal of a benign brain tumor in May 2010.”
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com