Basketball fans have expressed their anguish at the death of towering 18-year-old University of New Mexico basketball prodigy Fedonta White, who was allegedly shot dead in a row at a party in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A 16-year-old male has been arrested and charged with the murder of the 6ft 8in forward, having fled the scene that police were called to at around 3.30am in Santa Fe.
Emergency services took White, who was known as JB and named in ESPN’s top 100 basketball prospects for 2021, to a local hospital, but he could not be saved and the suspect now faces a charge of first-degree murder.
The university basketball team, known as Lobo Basketball, released a statement saying that it was “deeply saddened” by the “tragic news”.
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 & friends. pic.twitter.com/EQOd8KpjOL
— Lobo Basketball (@UNMLoboMBB) August 1, 2020
“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.”
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios called the investigation “very active” into the death of a player described as “perhaps the best known and most recognizable teen in Santa Fe” by the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The news outlet added that White was “a young man whose potential seemed as prodigious as his height.”
We mourn his passing and pray for an end to gun violence. A life with so much promise should not end this way. God Bless JB White May his passing serve as in inspiration for people
— rudy chavez (@morelobo) August 1, 2020
My prayers go out to his Family. This is so sad! He is still a Lobo in my Heart! Woof Woof youngster…
— R Baca (@RBaca1967) August 2, 2020
Fans spoke of their heartbreak as they offered their support to White’s family and team.
“We mourn his passing and pray for an end to gun violence,” said one.
“A life with so much promise should not end this way.”
Another wrote: “My prayers go out to his family. This is so sad. He is still a Lobo in my heart.”