When Matt Cannan chose to go to Case Western Reserve University, he knew he was going to get much more than an education. Cannan was going to get an opportunity to see the country as a member of the men's basketball team and also use a vast alumni network to help him find a job upon graduation.
The senior captain, who posts a 3.65 GPA as an accounting and finance major, will graduate from Case this spring. Cannan was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honoree as a junior and is a three-time University Athletic Association All-Academic selection.
"Matt has made great contributions to our program both on and off the court during his four years at Case. Having lost six seniors to the class of 2006, Matt's leadership has been vital this season," said Case Head Coach Sean McDonnell. "All of Matt's accolades and accomplishments have been a result of his hard work."
Cannan was an All-UAA honorable mention selection in 2006. He is a four-year starter and has amassed 767 points in 87 games as a Spartan. The team finished 12-13 his junior year, its best overall finish since the 1999-2000 season (11-12) and the 12 victories was the most since the 1998-99 (17) season. With nine underclassmen on the roster in 2007, Case is currently rebuilding.
"The dynamic this year has totally shifted, but that is not a bad thing," explained Cannan. "Being able to play in the UAA is a huge reason that I wanted to come to Case. I didn't really want to drive around Ohio and Indiana for a few months out of ever year. Most people don't have any opportunity to go to New York City. We go ever year."
With cities like Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and St. Louis on the conference travel itinerary it was New York where the Dublin, Ohio, native struck gold. Cannan, who is currently in his second year of an internship at National City Equity Partners in Cleveland, concentrated on business as much as he did basketball during his travels to the "Big Apple" the past two years.
"My junior and sophomore year I was able to schedule interviews on top of my basketball obligations while in New York City," explained Cannan. "Last year, I piggybacked an extra day and did three sets of interviews, so certainly in that sense, the opportunities have been great."
The New York Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs, a Global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm became his target. Ken Ward, a 1990 basketball alum (B.S. in management), who is currently the vice president of finance for Riddell, a national sporting equipment company, was willing to make a phone call or two to help a fellow Spartan.
"Like Coach Sudeck (Bill Sudeck, former coach), Sean has done a great job of reaching out and connecting the alumni back to the program," said Ward. "I attended a game a year ago in Chicago where he introduced me to Matt. He really wanted to work for Goldman Sachs, but was having a hard time connecting with them. Having done a couple deals with them in the past, I knew a few senior ranking people who trust my judgment. Honestly, I did not have much to do with it. I made an initial call to a vice president and Matt sold her on his credentials. I just got him in the door and to the right person."
Cannan accepted an offer from Goldman Sachs this past October to be an analyst in its leverage finance group, removing the tedious burden of finding a job, so he could fully enjoy his last year at Case.
Another basketball connection landed him the internship at National City Equity Partners. One of Matt's former high school assistants (Bob Patton Jr.), currently living and coaching (Head Coach at Kenston High School) in the area, closed that deal for him through a friend. Case women's basketball all-time leading scorer and rebounder, Erin Rogalski (1,659 points & 987 rebounds), works as an associate in the private equity division at National City Bank and has watched Matt play in Horsburgh Gym. Cannan's teammate for three years at Dublin Coffman High School near Columbus, Ohio, was Miami Heat guard Chris Quinn and his classmate was Brady Quinn, the starting quarterback at the University of Notre Dame. Last but not least, Cannan's younger brother, Jake, starts at forward as a sophomore for Ohio Northern University. Case scrimmaged the Polar Bears this past fall.
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