MLB or PSU? Tough decision for Malvern Prep's Lonnie White Jr.

Jamie Apody Image
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
MLB or PSU? Tough decision for Malvern Prep star athlete
TOUGH DECISION: Lonnie White Jr. has a tough decision to make. On Monday night, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's also received a scholarship to play football at Penn State.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It was a moment Lonnie White Jr. has dreamed about for as long as he can remember.

On Monday night, the Malvern Prep outfielder was taken with the 64th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the MLB Draft.

"It's exciting. I was nervous the entire time, waiting and waiting, and then it finally happened," he told Action News of being drafted. "It was really weird, but pretty exciting."

It's a slot that comes with a likely signing bonus of over $1 million.

"I still have to work my way up, but I still can't believe it myself," Lonnie said.

His mother Reggie called the moment surreal. "I think we were all sitting there like, 'oh my God this is happening!'"

The only one who may not have been cheering is Penn State head coach James Franklin. You see, Lonnie loves football, too. The standout wide receiver is so good that he has a scholarship to Happy Valley to play both football and baseball.

Franklin, who calls Lonnie their own Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders, has been texting his prized recruit since Monday wondering "whatcha gonna do?"

Lonnie said it's going to be difficult.

"I'm not sure what I'm gonna do yet but it's very hard," he said.

It's hard, but not nearly as hard as what the White family has gone through this past year. His mother, Reggie, was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.

"I had to go through surgeries and chemotherapy, and all sorts of treatment," Reggie said. "It was rough, especially during a pandemic."

"To see her struggle at that time was very hard. And the only way to keep her happy is if I were happy," Lonnie said.

With his mom now cancer-free, the whole family is all smiles just thinking about what the future holds in store.

So where does he see himself in 10 years?

"Hopefully playing in the Major Leagues or somewhere in the NFL hopefully," Lonnie laughed.

As for his mom?

"I feel bad for him that he has to make that decision, but he's gotta follow his heart, that's what we're telling him, follow your heart. Take where your heart is going to take you and go for it. Don't look back, go forward," she said.