Ruby White of Kansas City, Kansas turned the big 102 in late January. One of the many highlights from her special day was when her favorite Kansas basketball player, Devonte’ Graham, called and left a birthday message.
You see, White has been a longtime Jayhawks fan, and when Graham heard the news that he was the player she loved to watch the most, he was touched.
“That’s meaningful. That’s a lot right there, because she’s been probably watching KU basketball for a long, long time, and for me to be one of her favorites is — that’s powerful right there,” Graham told WDAF-TV.
After family, friends and spirituality, White, known as ‘Can-doo Ruby-doo,’ calls Jayhawks basketball one of the most important things in her life.
“She likes those point guards. I’ll say this – when I watch the games with her she’ll say why is coach doing that,” her 75-year-old son, Barry White, said. “That doesn’t make any sense, and why doesn’t he get ‘Doke’ out, because they`re just going to foul him.”
White met this year’s Jayhawks squad during a shootaround in November prior to attending her very first game at Allen Fieldhouse, where she had to take her hearing aids out because the 20,000 people in attendance roared and gave her a standing ovation.
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) November 28, 2017
She also had to keep her hands active throughout the game.
“While we were sitting there, a ball comes flying over and my mom (reaches up), and she deflected that thing,” Barry told The Kansas City Star. “The (players) all came over and high-fived her.”
Remarkably, White still lives by herself. However, she has embedded herself deeply within the community. That’s why about 350 people showed up for her 100th birthday celebration.
She and her husband, Walter, who passed away 40 years ago, started the First Southern Baptist Church of Kansas City, Kansas, which helps feed the homeless.
Though White has never dieted or exercised, she has some tips for living a long life.
“Well, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and I don’t chase men,” she said.
That, and she doesn’t miss a Jayhawks game either, of course.