Joseph Henry “Jo Jo” White (born November 16, 1946-January 17, 2018) is an American former professional basketball player. As an amateur, he played for the University of Kansas Men’s Basketball team and represented the U.S. Men’s Basketball team during the 1968 Summer Olympics. As a professional, he is best known for his ten-year stint with the Boston Celtics of the NBA, where he led the team towards two NBA championships, played nine seasons, and set a franchise record of 488 consecutive games played. White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
After college, White played on the 1968 USA Olympic basketball team in Mexico City, Mexico.
After the Olympics, White was drafted in 1969 in the first round (9th pick overall) by the NBA’s Boston Celtics, who at that time had just won their 11th championship in 13 years. There was some reluctance during the time of the draft as White had a mandatory two-year military commitment. Then Boston general manager, Red Auerbach, was able to shorten White’s commitment and allow him to participate in the 1969–70 NBA season.
White would retire in 1981 with the Kansas City Kings. He returned to the Jayhawks as an assistant coach from 1982–83. In 1987 at the age of 41, White attempted a professional comeback as a player-assistant coach with the Topeka Sizzlers of the Continental Basketball Association.
On Friday, April 9, 1982, his number 10 was hung from the rafters at the Boston Garden. He is in currently in the top 100 in the NBA for career total field goals made, field goals attempted, assists, free throw percentage, minutes per game, and defensive rating. He made the All-NBA Second Team in the 1974–75 and 1976–77 NBA seasons. White continues to be involved in basketball and is currently director of special projects and community relations with the Celtics, while continuing to attend most home games.
Career highlights and awards
2× NBA champion (1974, 1976)
NBA Finals MVP (1976)
7× NBA All-Star (1971–1977)
2× All-NBA Second Team (1975, 1977)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1970)
No. 10 retired by the Boston Celtics
2× Consensus second-team All-American (1968, 1969)
Competitor for the United States
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City Team competition
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1967 Winnipeg Team competition