Throughout the gymnasium, from the stands to the players, you could see “Vive JB” and his jersey number everywhere.
“He was just a loving guy, his laugh was infectious, he wanted to see his teammates do well, it wasn’t just about him,” said Cole.
The white was larger than life, literally.
“The size and the length and the speed and the athleticism.”
Standing at 6-foot-8, he dominated the court for the Santa Fe Demons boys’ basketball team. And he was due to join the Lobos men’s basketball team just days after being killed.
His coach Zack Cole has said he is one of the best players in the country.
“A lot of coaches would say to me, ‘You know you have a good NBA player coach?’” Said Cole.
His grandmother, Voss, took him to every game and knew her grandson was special.
“I knew JB was going to be huge because ever since I took him to practice people would tell me we were going to read about JB because he was always phenomenal.”
But tragically, he never set foot on the pitch for the Lobos.
“He’s playing in heaven now.”
It was in August 2020, when authorities said White attended a party and fought with Estevan Montoya, who was 16 at the time. Investigators say Montoya drew a gun and shot White. He was rushed to hospital but did not survive. A senseless death that hurt everyone in the community.
“Devastation. You just feel empty.”
This is why, on Saturday evening, the school withdrew its jersey number. to honor and remember him. his family took to the field to see his consecrated jersey.
“I was overwhelmed by all the love. I am very grateful for everything people have done for JB. “
Voss – still reeling from White’s death – said, while she’s grateful for it all, wishes they could celebrate with White by their side.
“I’m just broken because we should be celebrating something different and not his passing.”
Voss said all she wants now is justice for her grandson. Montoya’s trial is scheduled to begin in May.