Jo Jo White

Joseph Henry "Jo Jo" White (born Nov. 16, 1946) is an American former professional basketball player. White is a native of St. Louis, Missouri, and played college basketball at the University of Kansas.


After college White played on the 1968 USA Olympic basketball team (XIXth Olympiad, Mexico City) which went undefeated (9-0), besting Yugoslavia 65-50 in the title game after the Yugoslavian team upset perennial runner-up the Soviet Union 63-62. Drafted in 1969 in the 1st round (9th pick overall) by the NBA's Boston Celtics, who at that time had just won their 11th championship in 13 years. However, before White even reported to training camp, the Celtics' legendary center and player-coach Bill Russell announced his retirement. White went on to be one of professional basketball's first iron man, playing in all 82 games for five consecutive seasons during the 1970s. White's skills included great defense, speed, an underrated jump shot, and team leadership.

The 1970 Celtics finished with the franchise's first losing record since 1951. But with White leading the attack from the point guard position, the team returned to its winning ways in 1971. White was an All-Star for seven straight years from 1971 through 1977. He finished in the top ten in the league in assists from 1973-77. He was a durable all-around player, a very good free throw shooter, and a prolific scorer. In 1974 and 1976, White helped lead the Celtics to the NBA championship and was named the most valuable player of the 1976 NBA Finals. He was traded by the Celtics to the Golden State Warriors in 1979, and retired in 1981, with the Kansas City Kings. The greatest tribute afforded Celtics players is to have their number retired to the rafters, White's flag raising ceremony for this honor took place on Friday April 9, 1982.

Perhaps the most exciting game White ever played in was the triple overtime win against the Phoenix Suns in game 5 of the 1975-76 NBA Finals. White was the game's highest scorer with 33 points, had a game high 9 assists, and lead the Celtics to a 128-126 win. Logging an incredible 60 minutes of play time, only the Sun's Garfield Heard (61) played more minutes than White. Many claim it to be the greatest game ever played.

White continues to be involved in basketball and is currently Director of Special Projects, Community Relations with the Boston Celtics. He also attends most if not all home games.

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