J.B. White never played a game for the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team. Nor did he attend any classes at UNM’s Anderson School of Business as he planned. But the school recently announced that it is establishing the J.B. White Memorial Scholarship in his honor.
White, a standout basketball player at Santa Fe High School who earned a scholarship to play for the Lobos, was shot and killed at a party in Chupadero north of Santa Fe last summer. He completed his high school course work a year early so he could get an early start on his collegiate career. He planned to study business at UNM and was due to start classes about a week before he was killed.
According to a news release, Santa Fe High School students, and/or other students from northern New Mexico, pursuing a business degree will be given preference for the scholarship.
The student should also have interest in diversity issues, be they related to African-American, Native American or Hispanic cultures.
“J.B. was bigger than life, having made such a distinctive impact on so many people — including myself,” Lobos men’s basketball coach Paul Weir said in a statement. “After reflecting on my conversations with his grandmother Jude and school principal Carl Marano, this just felt like the right thing to do in so many ways.”
Jude Voss, White’s grandmother, said that in addition to J.B.’s aspirations to play in the NBA, he wanted to help kids in his community.
“He wanted to own his own business and work with kids, either coaching or doing something to help kids,” she said. “He talked about when he made it big he’d come back to help people.”
She said her grandson was a very giving person who went out of his way to talk to younger kids and try to be a role model to them. She said she was grateful to coach Weir and others for deciding to honor J.B.
“This is a way for my grandson’s legacy to continue. It’s another way that J.B., even now, is still continuing to help people,” she said.
To tip off the scholarship drive, coach Weir, who in addition to his coaching duties teaches a business class at UNM, is donating his teaching salary for the fall semester and making a personal donation.
The UNM Anderson School of Business is requesting additional funding from community members who would like to support the J.B. White Memorial Scholarship. Donations can be made through the UNM Foundation’s website: unmfund.org/fund/jbwhite/.