Jo Jo White in HOF

  • This year’s list includes 39-year NBA referee Dick Bavetta, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, seven-time NBA All-Star Jo Jo White, three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie and two-time College Coach of the Year John Calipari.

    JO JO WHITE [Player] – White is a seven-time NBA All-Star (1971-1977) and two-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics (1974,1976). He earned NBA All-Rookie Teams honors in 1970 and All-NBA Second Team in 1975 and 1977. White was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1976 and averaged 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in 12 NBA seasons.

    He played for the University of Kansas from 1965-69, earning The Sporting News and Converse First Team All-America in 1969.


    In 1968, White won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team.

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  • Jo Jo was one of my top- 5 all time favorite Jayhawks. He became eligible in mid-season and his first game was highly anticipated. It was like a coronation. AFH didn’t always fill up in those days but it was full that night. He was electric and could steal the ball at will. His biggest heartbreak was the shot in the 1966 Lubock regional that went in and would have beaten Texas Western to go to the final four but his foot was out of bounds. Congrats to a great Jayhawk.

  • @Mohawk

    “Jo Jo was one of my top- 5 all time favorite Jayhawks.”

    Me too Mo.

    IMO the greatest all around guard to ever play at Kansas.

  • @globaljaybird just read a cool story about jo jo. Can’t remember where they were playing, but after the Olympics, jo Jo’s first away game, he got a standing ovation from our opponents.

  • Always loved Jo Jo!

    Congrats to a player that well-deserves the induction!

  • Jo Jo has always been my favorite Jayhawk. He was a fantastic defender and a guard that could not be stopped by a press. Beyond that he was one of the most mature college students that I have ever seen. He was a man amongst boys on a college court.

  • Former KU coach Ted Owens — who, by the way, picks Wisconsin to win tonight’s game — remembers the KU-UW series vividly, especially the game in Madison.

    “I’ll never forget the ovation Jo Jo (White, KU guard) received from the Wisconsin fans when they introduced him before the game,” Owens said Sunday from his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “It was an incredible ovation, a huge ovation.”

    White had just returned from the 1968 Olympic Games, where he, Spencer Haywood and Charlie Scott led the U.S. to a 65-50 gold-medal basketball victory over Yugoslavia on Oct. 23, 1968, just six weeks before KU’s game in Madison.

    “Jo Jo had become a national hero with his Olympic teammates,” Owens said, recalling that the U.S. entered the ’68 Games as underdogs. “That U.S. team gained great support from fans in part because so many guys would not go to the Olympics as a protest (over social issues of the time).”

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    If I recall correctly, Jo Jo enrolled early in school and thus was eligible to play only one semester in his first year so Ted Owens chose to play him in the Fall when there were more games than in the Spring. Maybe someone can correct me if my memory is not right.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’m trying to figure that out. Aren’t there more games during spring semester?

  • @JayHawkFanToo Just the opposite. Owens played him the second semester so that the spring of 1966 was his first semester playing. He did that because they had a very good team (should have gotten the win over Texas Western). His last semester of eligibility was the fall of 1968 where I saw him play against what was the worst D1 team I have ever seen, Syracuse. They were so bad that they didn’t even try much to score. They would pass the ball back and forth until KU stole a pass and went for a layup. Rinse and repeat over and over.

  • @sfbahawk that won’t fly now will it?

  • @sfbahawk

    Actually both, from

    "White became eligible to play at the start of the spring semester of the 1965-66 school year. Head Coach Ted Owens had one of his best teams, but wrestled with the perplexing question of whether to play White that year. “We had all of the other pieces of the puzzle covered,” said Owens, “but he was such a great talent who just added so much speed and ball handling and versatility. What we sensed was that this was a team that could win the national championship. I asked Jo Jo what he wanted to do and he said ‘I want to play right now.’ I talked to our captain – Riney Lochmann – and I said ‘Riney, we’re trying to make a decision about Jo Jo. Jo Jo wants to play. He feels we have a great chance and I feel that we have a great chance to win the national championship. But one thing is important, if he plays he will be a starter and that means that you may not start.’ Riney said to me, ‘Coach, it doesn’t matter whether I start or not. We think JoJo can help us to win the national championship and we want him to play.’ That sealed it as far as I was concerned, because in Riney Lochmann and Del Lewis, who were our captains, we had two great young men and two very unselfish players. So with their endorsements and with Jo Jo wanting to, we made that decision.”

    "Jo Jo adjusted rapidly to Owens’ ball-control system, becoming the guard that coaches dream about – a staunch defender, devastating outside shooter, and able to break down the opposition. In short, he could do it all, and Kansas won its last seven games of the season, winning the Big Eight title outright and gaining entry to the NCAA tourney."


    "Jo Jo had only one semester of eligibility left heading into the 1969 season. Owens could have held him out during the first semester and used him only during the second semester, but that made no sense because of the way school terms broke in those days. The Jayhawks had 18 games scheduled during the first semester and only eight in the second semester. In his last game on February 1, he scored a career high 30 points in front of a sold-out crowd, which erupted with a thunderous roar as Owens removed him from the floor with 12 seconds left."

    So there you have folks…he played in the spring in his first season and in the fall in his last. I guess my memory is only half gone 🙂

  • @JayHawkFanToo February 1 in the first semester? Wonder how they were broke up?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Maybe based on when he started playing in his first season? I don’t believe the NCAA allow that anymore.

  • Dave Stallworth started playing at Wichita at mid-semester also. They had one of the best teams in the country in the first semester of his final year. But neither he nor JoJo would have been eligible to play in the NCAA tournament their final years. Wichita went to the Final Four that year (1965) without Stallworth.

  • @Wigs2 didn’t know that!

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