Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 9, 2012

EAST KENTUCKY BASKETBALL HISTORY: Meade Memorial's Albert "Junior" White

PAINTSVILLE —  Albert “Junior” White can be considered one of Eastern Kentucky’s first true legends. He played at Meade Memorial from 1946-50. In 1950 he was named 1st team All-State by the Louisville Courier-Journal and became the national prep scoring champion, scoring 2,989 points in his career. On March 16, 1950, the Paintsville Herald gave a recap of his high school career,

“Albert White, Jr. nineteen-year-old Meade Memorial senior and basketball star ended his high school career as national prep school scoring champion… taking the honor away from Wallace “Wah-Wah” Jones, professional basketball player. Jones, a former UK star, established the record in 1945 at Harlan with 2,398 points for five years of play. White succeeded in topping the record by 591 points, or a total of 2,989 tallies during his five years on the Meade squad.”

“The five-foot ten-inch guard, under the guidance this year of Coach Dow Stapleton, managed to strip the net for a total of 838 points. Sources near the breezy basketeer, intimated ‘feelers’ from the University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, Berea, Morehead, and the University of Louisville, had been sent out in White’s direction, but the young man himself would not comment.”

“Other accomplishments White has to his credit while starring for one of Johnson County’s best basketball aggregations include five letters in basketball and an equal amount in baseball. During his time on the court for the ‘Red Devils’ of Meade, he collected 19 gold basketballs.”

However, not many people seem to know what happened to him when he left Meade. The book Blue Yonder, which chronicles basketball in the state of Kentucky, even ads to the mystery when it says, “In Johnson County alone, Meade Memorial… had Donnis Butcher, who later played for the New York Knicks and coached the Detroit Pistons, and an even better player (according to some) named Junior White, who worked in the mines year-round, scored forty-nine points after walking twelve miles to a road game, and after high school disappeared back into the coal tunnels…” What is surprising is that he did continue to play basketball after high school, although not where you might think. He even had a chance to play major league baseball.

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