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”.

“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.”

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.”

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