Student-Athlete Spotlight

Matt MacDonald, C'18 - Men's Basketball

1. Name: Matt MacDonald

2. Class Year: 2018

3. Sport: Men's Basketball

4. Position: Guard/Forward

5. Why did you choose Penn?
My process in choosing Penn was a bit different than most kids being that I transferred here. I chose Penn because of its elite blend of academics, athletics, and campus life. Academically, getting an opportunity to earn a degree and graduate from (in my opinion) the best university in the world made it an easy decision to transfer. Athletically, the chance to compete in the Big 5, for an Ivy League championship, and call the Palestra home was something that I desperately wanted to be a part of. And last but not least, I wanted to have a tremendous college experience outside of basketball, and the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of people while going to college in a great city like Philadelphia played a huge role in my decision.   

6. What does the experience of being a Penn Basketball student-athlete mean to you?
Simply put, it means everything to me. Growing up, my dream was always to play college basketball at the Division I level. So everyday that I come to practice, workout, or put on the Penn jersey, I am living out my dream. It’s a feeling that I’ll always cherish.

7. What would you say to the donors who invest in your experience as a Basketball student-athlete? 
Thank you! We are incredibly lucky to have opportunity to attend this great university, and your investment in our program has greatly added to our experience as student-athletes. In my time here, your generous donations have resulted in an upgrade to our locker room and team room space. Additionally, our equipment and training facilities rank best not only in the Ivy League, but compare to other big time universities throughout the country. As players, we are extremely grateful for your support. 

8. What has been your favorite moment/memory with Penn Basketball?
My favorite memory was beating Harvard in the last game of the 2017 regular season to earn a berth to the first ever Ivy League Tournament. To start off the Ivy League season 0-6 and be counted out and doubted like we were, it was a special feeling to come together as a team and experience Ivy Madness. I know that there will be plenty of new memories to come in the future of Penn Basketball, and I look forward to playing a role in that journey.

9. What does life after Penn look like?
I am still in the process of figuring that out. I wish I could say more specifically, but I am not sure at this time. One thing I do know is that having a Penn degree and having access to a strong network of Penn alumni will greatly aid my in my future endeavors. I’m so blessed to know that in anything I do after Penn, I’ll always have the great privilege, honor, and responsibility to represent such a prestigious university.

10. What are some lessons that you have learned through athletics at Penn that will stay with you after graduation?
I have learned so many lessons through athletics in my time here at Penn. One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to handle adversity. This can be especially challenging in college, when as a student athlete there is a lot on your plate. I learned that the best way to handle any challenge is to work as hard as you can and keep a positive attitude. Another lesson I learned here in my time at Penn is you are always a part of something bigger than yourself. My time as a Penn student athlete helped me realized the importance of this, and being part of the Penn Basketball community made me realize this as well.