Joseph Henry ("JoJo") White was born on November 16, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri. He played college basketball at the University of Kansas. He scored 1,268 points during his four years at Kansas and his jersey was retired in 2003.
After college, White played on the 1968 USA Olympic basketball team in Mexico, which went undefeated (9-0), winning an Olympic Gold Medal, beating Yugoslavia 65-50 in the title game.
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. However, before White even reported to training camp, the Celtics' center and player-coach Bill Russell announced his retirement. White would endure a rebuilding season while the Celtics got back on track, drafting Dave Cowens and trading for Paul Silas. Along with these two and veteran John Havlicek, White would be the cornerstone of two Celtic championship teams in the 1970s (1973–74 and 1975–76).
White went on to become one of professional basketball's first "iron men", 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. With White leading the attack from the point guard position, the team returned to its winning ways in 1971. He was an All-Star for seven straight years from 1971 through 1977, finishing in the top ten in the league in assists from 1973-77. 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.
Perhaps the most exciting game White ever played was the triple overtime win against the Phoenix Suns in game 5 of those finals. White was the game's high scorer with 33 points, had a game high 9 assists, leading the Celtics to a 128-126 win. Logging an incredible 60 minutes of play time, only the Suns' Garfield Heard (61) played more minutes. Many claim it to be the greatest NBA game ever played.
He was traded by the Celtics to the Golden State Warriors in 1979, and retired in 1981, with the Kansas City Kings. White finished his NBA career scoring a total of 14,399 points (17.2 ppg), averaging 4.9 apg, and 4 rpg. His field goal percentage was .444%, an astonishing number for a point guard.
On Friday, April 9, 1982 White's number 10 was hung from the rafters at the Boston Garden.
JoJo involvement in the community is wide-spread. He is a motivational speaker to civic groups, corporations, colleges, commencement exercises, and youth organizations. In addition, JoJo White makes many appearances throughout the year to give recognition to both the young and old for various achievements. JoJo is involved with many Boston Celtics community programs such as the Stay In School and Read to Achieve programs, which provide recognition and incentives for youth to heavily consider furthering their education.
White continues to be involved in basketball and is currently the Boston Celtics as Director of Special Projects and Community Relations. In his role with the Celtics, White has a wide range of responsibilities within the Marketing, Community Relations and Basketball Operations departments.