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Spotlight | In Memoriam  

      A TRIBUTE TO LANNY WHITE (1963 - 2015)

EBOA and ABOA Official Extraordinaire Lanny White Passes


The basketball referee community and the world lost one of the best. After a courageous battle with multiple myeloma, Lanny White passed away September 13, 2015 surrounded by his wife Susan, daughters Randi and Shelbi and close family.

LW was larger than life with family, friends and all those who came in contact with him. Always approachable, Lanny made you feel unique and accepted with his magnetic personality. As a referee he had a quality that is best described as the Lanny Factor. Reffing with Lanny you rose above process & correctness, he was more about intentional values, presence and a shared purpose. The result was a stress-free game, with cooperation & flexibility at the forefront. In the end it was always fun.

During his almost 30 years as an official in Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton, LW always put the game and its players first, which put him in high regard with everyone involved. An Assignor in Saskatoon once told coaches at a high school meeting, “I’ll do my best to give you good officials, but Lanny White can’t do every game!”

He was selected to 8 or 9 CIS Men’s National Championships, CCAA Nationals and numerous Canada West Playoff Series. He served as an Evaluator and Mentor provincially and locally.

    A tribute to Lanny White and "Lanny's Legion" - Jake Steinbrenner with the White family and referees Perry Stothart, Kerron Lewis and Stephane Labonne

Numerous personal tributes have been posted on social media. Here’s a sampling from fellow officials, players, coaches and friends alike: 

“Tonight, I say goodnight to a good friend. A friend who was a special friend, a friend that was genuine, a friend who was there when you needed a friend. Someone that I enjoyed laughing with and someone I enjoyed coaching with and someone who I enjoyed spilling the odd beer with … I will miss you and I will see you on the other side my friend.”

                    – Brian Anstice, Coach

“Edmonton hoops lost a champion this week. Lanny White was an incredible father, coach, husband and referee in Edmonton and all over Alberta. I met Lanny during my early years at the University of Alberta during my career as a Golden Bear. Although we at first had a very rocky relationship (me receiving technicals, him listening to my ... remarks let's call it related to my technical fouls), over the years I developed a profound sense of respect for him as a man. One major reason why our relationship grew greatly was because of his remarkably supportive, hard-working and compassionate daughters -- Randi and Shelbi. Since 2011, these incredible young ladies put forth a great deal of sacrifice to create fundraiser initiatives (under the name of Lanny's Legion Relay for Life) and in honour of their father they raised thousands of dollars … One thing I know for sure, is that I pray that I have daughters like the both of you one day, cause if I do, I know like Lanny, I'd be the proudest dad in the world … Sending plenty of love to the whole family, we definitely were privileged to have a man like Lanny be a part of the Edmonton and Alberta basketball community.”

                    – Andrew Parker

“Thirty years ago I refereed basketball in Calgary with a tall, red-headed guy named LANNY WHITE, who was originally from Melfort, SK. He was a longtime Roughrider fan so we became friends. After several years Lanny moved to Saskatoon were he became a university official. He then moved to Edmonton where his success on the hardcourt led to several national championships. Lanny always had a big smile on his face and you just couldn't help but like him. He was well respected on and off the court. Lanny's many friends in Edmonton and Melfort participated in several cancer fundraising events such as the Relay for Life and were known as Lanny's Legion. Rest in Peace my friend. The world is a better place because you were in it and I will not forget you.

                    – Ken Runquist

“Tonight our community lost a great friend! To Susan and the girls, Lanny was the most humbling, loving, gracious, respected man I knew. He taught me many things - but most of all was the importance of family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.” Love,

                    – Stephane Labonne and Family


“What I will keep in my heart forever is his example of courage. 1 Corintians 16: 13 and 14 describes courage as … ’Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act with conviction, be strong. But this last part is where LW really stood out, ‘Let all you do be done in love.’ I trust Lanny’s Legion will continue to soldier on so we can keep our friend’s example alive …”

                    – Jake Steinbrenner

Officials across Western Canada will be honouring Lanny White’s memory and the example he set by wearing a LW crest on the left sleeve of their jerseys in the 2015-16 season.

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