Jerome Whitehead (born September 30, 1956 in Waukegan, Illinois) was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the expansion draft, from the Utah Jazz, prior to the team's inaugural season in 1980-1981.
Whitehead attended Marquette University where he played with Coach Al McGuire's NCAA National Championship team in 1977.
Starting at center, he's often credited with scoring the most important field goal in the history of Marquette baskeball with a last second dunk leading the Warriors over NC-Charlotte (51-49) in the semi-final of the 1977 NCAA tournament. That game was also the best game of Whitehead's career as he led the team with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Marquette went on to beat Dean Smith and North Carolina in the Championship game and Whitehead was named to the All-Tournament team.
Drafted in the second round of the 1978 NBA draft by the San Diego Clippers, Whitehead played two seasons there before moving to Utah for one season. The Jazz left the 6'10 big man exposed in the league expansion draft and he was taken by the Mavericks.
Whitehead's stint with Dallas lasted only 7 games before he was traded with Richard Washington to the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Bill Robinzine, Atlanta's 1983 first-round draft choice (which belonged to Cleveland) and the Cavaliers' own 1986 first-round choice.
He had the distinction of joining Tom LaGarde, Abdul Jeelani, Geoff Huston and Winford Boynes in the starting lineup for Dallas' first regular season game against the San Antonio Spurs on October 11, 1980.
During his seven game stint as a Mav, Whitehead averaged 5.3 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game in 16.9 minutes. Possessing a solid inside game and an ability to hit a jumper from the top of the key, he was thought to be a strong backup center before being traded to Cleveland.
His stint with Cleveland was also quite short as he appeared in only three games for the Cavs. He rejoined San Diego, his third team that season, and found a home playing with the Clippers for the remainder of '80-'81 and three seasons thereafter. His best season came in 1981-1982 when he appeared in 72 games and averaging 13.8 ppg along with 9.2 rpg. He also ranked 6th in the NBA that season in the offensive rebounds category.
Whitehead went on to play four full seasons with the Golden State Warriors and a final season split between Golden State and San Antonio. For his career, he averaged 6.5 ppg and 4.8 apg.
In 2007, Sports Illustrated reported that Whitehead was working as a representative for Primerica Financial Services in El Cajon, California.
Unfortunately, Jerome Whitehead was found dead on December 20, 2012 in a suburb of San Diego, California.