Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Heart & Soul.(Sports)

Byline: Story by Mark Smith * Photograph by Adolphe Pierre-Louis * Of the Journal

Wayland White and Brian Smith sacrificed theirbodies and souls for New Mexico basketball

Physically, they had no business assuming their mandated posts during their University of New Mexico men's basketball tenure.

One was too short.

The other's body best would be left to medical science if not a junk yard.

But what seniors Wayland White and Brian Smith lacked in physical stature, they more than made up for in heart and soul.

All the cliches apply to these two, who'll play their final regular-season home game today in the Pit against Utah.

"Both of those guys have always been very mature, very coachable and understand the meaning of hard work," says UNM second-year coach Fran Fraschilla. "They're good role models for younger players and quiet leaders on the team."

Smith and White are two of just four players who have been with Fraschilla for both of his seasons at the Lobos' helm. It hasn't exactly been a storied couple of years. But of what success UNM has had, it owes a great deal to this season's senior duo.

Smith, a 6-foot, 8-inch post, came to New Mexico as a slender sophomore redshirt wing player in 1997. The 6-6 White transferred to UNM last season from the junior college ranks, where he was billed as a dynamic small forward who could seemingly defy gravity. …

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