Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, has died. He was 71. The Celtics announced his death 16 January 2018 night. No cause was provided. The team said it was “terribly saddened” by White’s passing, calling him a “champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it.”
White played 10 seasons for Boston, which drafted him ninth overall from Kansas in 1969. He averaged 17.2 points per game over 13 years, also playing for Golden State and the Kansas City Kings before retiring in 1981. The Celtics retired White’s No. 10 the following year, and he still was working with the club as a director of special projects at the time of his death.
Boston traded White to the Warriors midway through the 1978-79 season and he remained with Golden State through the following season. He played one final season in Kansas City, but was always beloved in Boston as a Celtic. At Kansas, White was an All-America selection in 1968 and 1969, was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference honoree and the Jayhawks’ Most Valuable Player for three straight seasons under coach Ted Owens. Owens later hired White as an assistant at Kansas for two seasons.