SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Family, friends, coaches, and teammates are saying their final goodbye to 18-year-old J.B. White. The Santa Fe High School basketball star was set to become a University of New Mexico Lobo but he was shot and killed at a house party over the weekend.
According to witnesses, a fight broke out before 16-year-old Estevan Montoya opened fire then took off. Montoya is now charged with murder and the District Attorney is pushing to have him tried as an adult.
A memorial for the late Santa Fe High School basketball star J.B. White took place Wednesday night. Family, friends, and teammates joined together at The Light at Mission Viejo Church in Santa Fe remembering the life of the 18-year-old. “I love my brother, and I know that he loves me so much,” White’s sister said.
Teammates and coaches also spoke at the memorial service. “He showed us how to be great by leading by example,” said White’s coach from Santa Fe High School.
Hundreds gathered at the church to honor the basketball star. People lined up outside the church more than an hour ahead of the service to get a spot. “To me, J.B. is an angel, a special person, one of a kind soul,” a former coach said.
He was set to play at UNM this year. “My family was waiting for that, to go to The Pit to watch him play ball,” White’s sister said.
The service featured two basketball nets, posters of White and jerseys adorned the casket. A photo and video slideshow started to take people through his life. “The impact he has had on the youth of Santa Fe and New Mexico,” said a former coach. “He loved Santa Fe and New Mexico, dear to his heart.”
His sister and others called on young people specifically to lead with love like they said White did. “June Bug had touched so many people, and he meant so much to all of us,” his sister said. “I hope this changes your life in a positive way.”
White’s high school basketball coach said they will continue to honor White, suggesting things like naming tournaments and awards after him as well as retiring his jersey. Those looking to support White’s family can go online and buy a t-shirt.
On the front of the t-shirt is a picture of White dunking and on the back is a tweet White sent out back in July of last year. The shirts cost $25 and the proceeds will go to the family.
- Witnesses recount what led up to the deadly shooting of Santa Fe basketball star
- Santa Fe Public School leaders, students address youth violence
- Candlelight vigil held for Santa Fe basketball star J.B. White
- Three teens killed in Santa Fe over summer
- Suspect in J.B. White’s murder has a history of violence
- Santa Fe High basketball star J.B. White shot and killed
- Arrest made in murder of local high school basketball star