The five months between Basketball and Football season can be kind of
dull for Boilermaker fans. Luckily for you, we're here to quench your
thirst of all things Purdue by looking back at (and following up with)
one of the worst teams in Purdue history - the 2005-2006 Men's
Past Where Are They Now Posts:
Part 1 - Matt Kiefer
Part 2 - Nate Minnoy
Korey Spates and Nate Minnoy may have answered our trivia question
regarding freshmen who averaged double-digit points, however there was
another newcomer to average more than 10 points per game for the 2005-06
Marcus White transferred
in and immediately made an impact for Purdue.
However, just like Spates and Minnoy, White only lasted one season as a
At the time, his departure
from the team was universally accepted by Purdue fans. However, you’re going to
be stunned when you find out what Marcus White has been up to since his year in
This is Marcus White’s
edition of the “Where Are They Now – Worst Year Ever” series...
Marcus White came out of Whitney Young HS (Chicago) in 2002
as a top-100 recruit for the UCONN Huskies (after decommitting from DePaul due
to a coaching change). A prolific rebounder, White was second on the team in
rebounding as a freshman and appeared to have a bright future ahead of
him. Unfortunately, his ‘03-‘04 season
was derailed by a bulging disk in his back and he was forced to redshirt in
UCONN’s National Championship season.
After undergoing surgery, White was not getting the playing time he was
looking for in his sophomore year, as Charlie Villanueva and Josh Boone had
established themselves as UCONN’s go-to big men.
|White (23) and Kiefer summing up the 2005-2006 season|
White left UCONN in mid-December, and
announced his intentions to transfer to Purdue in early January. While his reason for transferring was never
officially stated, it appears he was looking for more playing time and that
there were no “Bo Ryan-esque” transfer issues on Jim Calhoun’s side.
White was eligible to play for Purdue beginning in December
of 2005 and a month later took over a team that was decimated by injuries and
Carl Landry, David Teague,
Nate Minnoy, and Korey Spates were all injured or kicked off the team by the
end of January, allowing White to shine.
Beginning with the third game of the Big Ten season, Marcus scored double-digit points
in 10 of his next 12 games and teamed up with Matt Kiefer in forcing
opposing coaches to pack the paint.
Unfortunately, White’s back issues flared up again and he was forced to
miss the last two games of the season.
A few weeks after the season, news came out
that Marcus White’s
career was over due to his back issues.
Matt Painter announced that while his career
was over, Purdue would keep him on scholarship through the end of his senior
The story should have had a sad,
but heartwarming ending…White finishes his Law and Society degree, gets a great
job out of school, and reminisces about what could have been.
However, that's not even close to what happened.
Despite Purdue, Matt Painter, and Marcus
White convincing nearly all fans to this day that White’s career was over (search on “white” to read the comments section of a recent post
from another awesome Purdue blog), Marcus went on to
play THREE years of professional basketball.
Instead of capitalizing on his opportunity for a free-ride
in his senior year, White passed it up to play professionally in Lebanon for Antranik
In his first and only season
there, White really hit his stride and averaged 17.9 ppg and 13.9 rpg while
playing in 17 games.
In addition to his offense, White was also
to the Lebanese Basketball League all-defensive team. A huge season less
than nine months after leaving the Purdue basketball team due to a
career-ending back injury!
After a short Lebanese season, White was apparently healthy
enough to join
the Al Kahraba Electricity in Iraq.
The Iraqi Premier Basketball League may not
have been great at keeping stats, although rumor has it there were a lot of
sharpshooters in the league. This chilling article
talks about life in the
Iraqi league with player always under the threat of kidnapping.
I did enjoy the one line from the article
“In a country that is often without electricity, it seems
ironic that a team would have just that word in its name.”
Apparently, White impressed enough people with his play that
in November of 2007, Marcus White was taken in the third round of the NBA
D-League draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
14 minutes off the bench in the
team’s first game of the season in the Staples Center, but didn’t score a point
before tearing the meniscus in his right knee.
3 days later, he was released from the team due to injury, and it appeared his
15 minutes of fame would come up 1 minute short.
|Marcus White (22) in the D-League|
However, White spent the next year in intensive rehab and
with the D-Fenders in December 2008.
He played in 9 games, including a dominant
20 point, 19 rebound performance against the Anaheim Arsenal.
Unfortunately, the injuries caught up with
him and White was finally released for good on Febuary 3rd, 2009.
With White’s playing career finally over (three years after
leaving Purdue due to a “career-ending” injury), Marcus moved back to Chicago.
According to his Facebook pages, he is now engaged
and is working as a professional trainer.
Not quite sure why he has 2 different Facebook pages, but it appears one
is very “business-like” while the other
is much more party-focused.
Regardless, make sure to add him as your
friend to find out more!
Unlike the prior two “Where Are They Now’s”, Marcus White
doesn’t appear to have arrests on his record and has done pretty well for
himself. However, that doesn’t mean this
story was without major controversy.
What happened after the 2005-2006 season? Did Painter kick White off the team? Did White have an offer to play
professionally and dupe the team into thinking he was permanently injured? Did the coaching staff, worried about making
room for incoming freshmen and big-time recruits Jonathan Uchendu and Dan
Vandervieren, cover up the real reason he left?
And how have fans been duped this entire time?
With Gordon Watt, Carl Landry and the two big freshmen all
battling for the 4 and 5 spots the following year, my best guess is that White decided to move on and that it was
mutually decided to use the injury as the main excuse. Regardless, it’s very suspicious that Purdue
would offer White to keep his scholarship for his senior year, but not have him
play on the team if they truly didn’t believe that he was injured.
In the 2006-2007 season, Purdue made it to
the second round of the NCAA tournament and nearly beat Florida, the eventual
National Champions. That same year,
Marcus White played in Lebanon and averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds in what
was supposed to be his senior year. What
if Marcus White had come back and brought that kind of production to Purdue? A starting lineup of White, Landry, Teague, Chris Kramer, and Tarrance Crump could have done some major damage in March.
Do you have your own conspiracy theories? What’s the real reason behind Marcus White
leaving Purdue? Leave your thoughts
below, and check back throughout the summer as we continue our “Where Are They
Now – 2005-2006 Season” series!