J.B. White

Saturday saw some sad news in the NCAA basketball world. As Geoff Grammar and Kyle Land of the Albuquerque Journal write, 18-year-old incoming New Mexico Lobos player Fedonta “J.B.” White was shot and killed Saturday morning.

“June Bug” was a week away.

Fedonta “J.B.” White, the star Santa Fe High Demons basketball player who was set to join the UNM Lobo basketball team next week in Albuquerque — the next step in his dream to play professional basketball — was shot and killed early Saturday morning near Santa Fe.

Around 3:30 a.m., deputies from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office responded to calls of a shooting in the Chupadero area, just north of the city of Santa Fe, where officers determined White had died of a gunshot wound.

He was 18.

White had initially been set to graduate high school in 2021, but wrapped up his schoolwork early so he could join the Lobos this fall. He was set to be the first New Mexico high school player who the Lobos gave a scholarship directly out of high school since they did that with Cullen Neal ahead of the 2013-14 season. And as James Barron and Dillan Mullan of The Santa Fe New Mexican write, White’s passing has left a mark on many:

“The whole thing is just surreal,” [Santa Fe High principal Carl] Marano said. “He was an incredible young man who was getting ready to fulfill his dream and be a Lobo.”

Adrienne Cole, the wife of Santa Fe High head boys basketball coach Zack Cole and a cousin of White, said the family did not want to comment about White’s death.

“Our entire family is devastated,” Adrienne Cole said. “We need lots of prayers, all of us.”

…Christian Kavanaugh, a 2019 Santa Fe High graduate who played with White on the state runner-up team, said White’s death was an unbelievable end to a story that could have been so good.

“I was telling myself this is crazy,” Kavanaugh said. “This guy has the brightest future and nothing can get in his way. It was horrible because he had so much potential and the biggest future ahead of him. He was so young and he was going to make his way out of here. He was going to do big things.”

That was further illustrated on Twitter Saturday, with many in the New Mexico basketball community, including Neal, paying tribute to White:

Here are some of the other tweets about White:

Our thoughts go out to White’s friends and family.

[The Albuquerque Journal; photo from KRQE]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.