Basketball prep notes: Santa Fe makes a fitting dedication to the late JB White

Santa Fe Demon boys JB White’s former locker is now locked in glass. (James Yodice/Diary)

The best game that Santa Fe High boys’ basketball coach Zack Cole saw JB White play was a home game in his junior year against Clovis.

So, Cole said, it made sense that when it came time to pick a home date this season for Santa Fe to retire White’s jersey, Clovis was the practical choice.

White’s iconic number 1 jersey was officially retired last month when the Wildcats visited Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium.

This framed jersey, the Santa Fe High School No. 1 once worn by JB White, will soon hang in the lobby of the Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium, along with a plaque honoring White. (Courtesy of Zack Cole)

“The caliber of player he was, we should have taken his shirt off a different way,” Cole said. “It’s a shame we took him out because we lost him.”

White, quite possibly the best player to come through the Demons program, and as a New Mexico signing has been ranked among the top rookies in the country, was gunned down at a house party early in the morning of the 1st August 2020.

When Clovis visited Santa Fe last month, the school held a pre-game ceremony to honor White and to make it official that no one would wear the Demons No. 1 again.

Although it hasn’t been done yet, White’s blue No. 1 jersey, along with a plaque detailing his many highlights and accomplishments, will be displayed in the gymnasium lobby, Cole said. On this plaque is a photo of White, competing against Cleveland in a state tournament game at the Pit.

White’s family were part of the pre-match ceremony. Former UNM head coach Paul Weir and former Lobos assistant Brandon Mason, the man who primarily recruited White to UNM, were also in attendance.

Additionally, inside the Santa Fe locker room, White’s old locker was encased in glass. It remains largely intact from the last time White was in this room.

“It’s a beautiful memorial to him,” Cole said.

The murder trial of the person accused of shooting White, Estevan Montoya, is scheduled for later this year.

ONE BIG, TIMES TWO: Highland High was able to celebrate a pair of milestone achievements within days of each other.

First Deniece Ryan, a senior guard for the girls, and then earlier this week Jose Murillo, the Hornets’ exceptional big man, both hit the 1,000-point plateaus during their exceptional basketball careers. .

Murillo scored 1,000 points in Highland’s win at Belen on 7 February; he got there after playing just over 2½ seasons, as he only appeared in four games for the Hornets in the pandemic-shortened Spring 2021 season.

Ryan, a spark plug, hit 1,000 points in a Feb. 4 win over Valley.

NEW RESEARCH FOR CCP: The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Cottonwood Classical Prep haven’t been able to play games at a gym they can truly call their own since the school opened.

This will change.

CCP inaugurated a project that will include, among other things, a new gymnasium. The gymnasium is expected to hold around 600-700 fans when it is completed.

As for when that will happen, athletic director Chris Rigali said the school hopes to complete it in early 2023, perhaps in time to play home games during the district portion of the 2022-23 schedule.

The PCC primarily used the Albuquerque and St. Pius Public Schools colleges to play their “home” games. Sandia Prep and Bosque School, Rigali said, have also been generous in this regard.

IT’S (ALMOST) THIS TIME: State Tournaments begin in three weeks, with week two at the Pit taking place March 8-12.

The New Mexico Activities Association will begin selling state tournament passes on Tuesday. They cost $95 each and, according to the NMAA, will only be sold over the phone. There will be no in-person sale.

To obtain a pass, call 505-923-3110.

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