Phil Shori isn’t so sure fate didn’t bring him to East Clinton.
A life-long dream of playing college basketball ended when Shori was injured during his senior season in high school.
Then rather than go to the University of Cincinnati, another medical issue kept him close to home and ultimately began his coaching career.
And now the 2015 North Canton Hoover High School graduate is the new varsity boys basketball coach at ECHS, taking over for Tony Berlin who was non-renewed after five years.
“I like pushing it, scoring quickly and wreaking havoc all over the place on defense,” he said. “I want to make the opposing team’s life miserable every time they touch the ball.
“It’s not going to happen Day 1 but it’s something we’ll push for.”
East Clinton athletic director Jim Marsh was more than willing to roll the dice on a coach barely older than the player’s he’ll be coaching.
“Very impressive young coach,” Marsh said. “He will bring enthusiasm and a great scheme. My excitement is very highwith coach Shori.”
Shori attended Canton GlenOak two years then North Canton Hoover for two seasons. He was looking at small colleges for basketball when he tore the front and back of the labrum in his left shoulder. He said it was six months post-surgery before he could pick up a basketball.
His playing days, competitively speaking, were over.
“I had my heart set on playing college basketball,” he said.
But he felt UC was an option, looking to major in business. He had family in the Cincinnati area.
Then Shori’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. His collegiate aspirations when from UC to Kent State so he could stay close to his mom. He graduated KSU this past May.
“She had chemo for a year, a couple surgeries and she’s back to 100 percent,” Shori said.
While at Kent State, and with his mother on the road to recovery, Shori took his first coaching job in Doylestown at Chippewa High School.
“Within a week, I knew this (coaching) is what I wanted to do,” he said.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports