1979 Penn basketball star Matthew White found dead

White's wife says she killed White after he had watched child pornography

· February 12, 2013, 12:06 am

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Former Penn center Matt White, a member of the 1979 Final Four team, was stabbed to death at his Delaware County home Monday night.


1979 College graduate Matthew White, 53, was stabbed to death in his Delaware County home Monday night.

White was the starting center on the 1979 Penn men’s basketball team that went to the Final Four. He also earned an MBA from Wharton in 1983.

Around 2 p.m. Monday, police arrived to the 800 block of Parkridge Drive in Nether Providence, where White lived with his wife Maria Rey Garcia-Pellon, to find White stabbed to death.

Court documents show that Garcia-Pellon is being charged criminal homicide, possession of an instrument of crime, first-degree and third-degree murder. She is being held in Delaware County Prison.

Police say Garcia-Pellon went to a friend’s home after the alleged murder and said she had caught her husband viewing child pornography.

“I caught him looking at pornography, young girls. I love kids,” Garcia-Pellon told investigators according to AP. “I had to do it.”

A school district source also told 6abc that Garcia-Pellon is a teacher’s aide at Nether Providence Elementary School but was not at work Monday. The source also said that she has recently been suffering from depression.

White was a Bethesda, Md., native and won two Ivy titles during his Penn basketball career from 1976-79, also earning All-Ivy first-team honors for the 1978-79 season. He was a fifth-round draft pick for the Portland Trailblazers in the 1979 NBA Draft and played 12 years of basketball in Spain before returning to the U.S. White suffered a stroke in 2010.

Bob Weinhauer, White’s coach on the 1979 Penn team, said in a statement that his thoughts and prayers go out to White’s two children.

“It was an honor to have been his coach at Penn and to see him develop into a great defensive player and an important member of the 1979 Final Four team,” Weinhauer said. “Obviously this is a very difficult time for all who knew Matt, but I prefer to remember his playing the piano in hotels we stayed in on the road or assisting me in coaching the alumni game last year at Penn … Matt will always be remembered as a true supporter of Penn Athletics. I am very sad that he has left us so soon.”

“We are greatly saddened to hear about the death of Matt White, and shocked by the details emerging about his death,” Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky said in a statement. “For Penn fans, Matt is a reminder of some of the greatest days of our historic men’s basketball program, the 1979 run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four, and he was a beloved member of the Penn men’s basketball family right up until his death. We had just seen him two weekends ago at our annual alumni event around our February 2 game against Cornell. This is a sad, shocking day for us.”

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