Kenwood basketball coach optimistic about developing new team

Kenwood Academy High School Basketball Coach Marlo Finner

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Sports Writer

After leading the Kenwood Academy High School boys varsity basketball team to its first ever city championship game in school history back in 2016, Marlo Finner, head coach of the Broncos, a Chicago Public League Legend and a University of Missouri Alumnus, has taken a once average program in three season’s and developed it into a city powerhouse.

Finner has earned the respect of his peers by winning; two Red Central Conference Championships, two Illinois High School Association Regional titles, one Final Four victory over Curie High School in 2016 and one championship appearance against the very team who gave him his first coaching opportunity, his mentor, coach Robert Smith and the Simeon Wolverines.

“Coach Smith taught me a lot about coaching [the game of basketball],” Finner said. “We helped produce a great player in Jabari Parker.”

Back in 2013, Parker was dubbed as the prized recruit at the time after being named to the ESPN’s Top 100 list as the top recruits in the nation. After dominating the competition on the high school and college level over a two-year period, Parker went on to experience a successful career with the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks, which Finner viewed as a proud moment.

Finner also helped produce several Division I scholarship athletes for the Broncos. Including guard/forward Nick Robinson of St. Joseph University (class of 2016), point guard/shooting guard Zion Morgan of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (class of 2016), Manny Patterson who will be attending the University of Wisconsin Green Day in the Fall of 2017 and many others.

For the 2017-18 season, Finner is looking forward to embracing another coaching challenge as he will experience high turnover after losing several players (graduating seniors) from the 2016 City Championship roster and will coach several of his first year recruits.

“Next year will be the first year I can coach the group of guys I recruited,” Finner said. “We can run our system.”¬†

hpherald@hpherald.com