Sports

Former Celtics great Jo Jo White dies at 71

Former Celtics great Jo Jo White dies at 71

White had been fighting cancer for a number of years and in May 2010, he underwent surgery to have a tumor removed, The New York Daily News noted. He retired in 1981, and was selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. White was a seven time NBA All-Star who averaged 17 points a game in his 12 seasons in the league.

"I remember Jo Jo in the triple-overtime [NBA Finals game against the Phoenix Suns], when he carried the team and played all of those minutes", Celtics legend and fellow Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn told the Boston Herald.

BOSTON - 1979: JoJo White #10 of the Boston Celtics drives to the bakset against the Golden State Warriors during a game played in 1979 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

The team added that his contributions to the team's championship legacy "may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community".

Among all the accolades he received from playing the game, White deserved even more for the type of man he was off the court. "He was a champion and a gentleman".

White was drafted in 1969 in the first round by the Celtics. He's a staple of the legendary Celtics franchise, spending nine and a half years with the green and white team in MA.

After his exceptional amateur career, White became an National Basketball Association great for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics retired his No. 10 in 1982.

White was one of the biggest stars on the 1970s Celtics teams that won the NBA Finals in 1974 and 1976.