RIP, Matt White
I remember him as the kind of professional-grade big man that the Quakers used to have when they were expected to win, against any team, any time, in any setting. He was about 6-11, fundamentally sound, a competitor. Then, if Penn wasn't the best team in the East, its fans and coaches would demand to know why not.
The Quakers went to the Final Four in 1979, lost to Michigan State, then took DePaul to overtime two nights later in the consolation game before losing, 96-93. They were one of the best teams in college basketball, not a novelty act that sneaked into the national semifinals. White was a big reason why, pun intended.
Some who remember White more clearly knew him as a gentleman --- one who could be found wearing a sweater, reading a book and smoking a pipe during road trips, more a distinguished grown-up than a rambunctious college student. They remember him as an avid pianist, and as one who, when provided the opportunity to play basketball professionally in Europe, chose his destination based largely on where the finer wines were produced.
Ivy League man, big-time ballplayer.