Casey Torres, Lee Faria, KOB Web Staff
Created: August 01, 2020 10:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A community is grieving after an 18-year-old basketball star from Santa Fe High School was shot and killed at a party early Saturday morning. Santa Fe authorities arrested 16-year-old Estevan Mateo Montoya and charged him with JB’s killing.
JB White was best known for his skills on the basketball court. The teen had recently graduated from high school and had plans to enroll early at UNM to play for the Lobo men’s basketball team.
“He just played with a lot of energy, a lot of hype and a lot of competitiveness,” said Ryan Cordova, a coach from Northern New Mexico College.
JB’s friends said his personality was full of joy.
“His laugh…his laugh is the funniest,” said Jordan Campos, JB’s teammate. “You wouldn’t expect it. It’s not girly, but it’s funny. I’ll never get enough of his laugh. I’m just going through my phone and going through the videos and stuff—just breaks my heart that it had to end that way.”
Those who were close to him are shocked his life came to an abrupt halt.
“This is something that was senseless. It’s so heart wrenching for that family. I couldn’t even imagine what they’re going through. I can’t even imagine it,” Cordova said.
"He's my brother. He's my brother,” Campos added.
Campos said he’s heartbroken he didn’t get the chance to see JB reach his potential at the college-level, but is grateful for the memories he has with him.
"He had so much life left to live, and it just got taken away like that,” he said. "And I wish I could hug him one more time and tell him I love him."
Santa Fe Public Schools released the following statement following JB’s death:
“Our entire community is shocked and saddened by the loss of someone whom we celebrated during his memorable time on the court and whose talent was a joy to sports fans across New Mexico. We are deeply shaken,” said SFPS Superintendent Dr. Veronica C. Garcia. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and all who loved him. It is unspeakable to lose someone so young and with such promise for the future.”
Statement from UNM men’s basketball:
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of JB White. He was an extremely talented student-athlete and we were looking forward to him joining the Lobo Family. He was an amazing young man with a bright future, our thoughts and hearts go out to his family and friends."
A GoFundMe has been organized to help JB's family pay for funeral costs and a memorial. To donate, click here.
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