Coach Finner

Post Grad Head Coach

My name is Marlo Finner, and I'm a lifelong resident of Chicago.  I'm currently the Head Basketball Coach at Kenwood Academy High School, a position I’ve held since 2014. My basketball career spans from Wendell Phillips High school from 1986-1990 where I earned team all city and all-state honors. After high school, I earned a scholarship to the University of Texas EL-Paso where I began to absorb the meaning and tenants of a student-athlete. While I excelled in my new athletic and academic situation, I experienced a serious injury, which furthered my understanding of the importance of academic success. I transferred to the University of Missouri where I played for Hall of fame coach Norm Stewart. I played on nationally ranked teams that achieved a significant amount of success. In fact,  In 1994 I was apart of a great team that went 28-5 and 16-0 in the Big 8 conference and went on to play in the NCAA Elite 8. Soon after my college career ended, I pursued a career in professional basketball. After a successful but brief career in Europe, more specifically, Greece, I suffered a career-ending injury.  

My love for basketball led me to a career in social services educating and servicing the most at-risk students in alternative educational and residential settings. The experienced gleaned from my time with at-risk youth ignited my passion for returning to the game of basketball as a coach. I began my coaching career in a humbling but necessary situation. I returned to my former high school as a freshman coach and immediately won a conference championship. Several coaches contacted me regarding future coaching positions. My next coach job came as an assistant coach at the national renown powerhouse Chicago’s Simeon High School from 2009-2013. In fact, I played an integral role in extending and strengthening  a great school tradition that won four state championships. This experience allowed me to coach, mentor, and raise several major Division 1 college prospects where I stressed academic success in concert with athletic prowess.     

I became the Head Coach of Chicago’s Kenwood Academy with a strong foundation of what I knew and envisioned it exactly took to create and sustain a top-notch program. I remained dedicated to changing the culture at Kenwood. Although  At Kenwood, I found a few talented players that never achieved athletic success similar to Simeon.  I had to utilize diverse strategies and techniques to motivate these kids to first believe in themselves as a pillar of our commitment to winning. I had the task of convincing to my players to work hard to improve academically, socially, and athletically. I emphasized the paradigm of hard work as the key to success. I collaborated with Kenwood administration, faculty and most importantly the parents to assist in my long-term goals. Soon after the players and parents saw my dedication and resolve and both parties started to buy into my system. My inaugural season at Kenwood we won the Red Central Conference 10-0 and reached the Elite 8 of the Chicago Public League. The next year we won the Conference Championship for the second time and made it to the city championship were we lost to Simeon in a very close game. This success allowed for a reevaluation of my ultimate goals of returning to the college ranks as a coach. During my time at Kenwood, several players earn college scholarships and more importantly college degrees. My family remains my biggest supporters, and my success goes to their love and patience. I hope by now you can tell that my dedication to educating and servicing diverse student populations guides my actions, attitudes, and behaviors. I rest assured my ability to communicate effectively, provide structure, and mentor young men will align itself with the aims of your program.  


Highlights of players I have coached: 

Jabari Parker  Class of 2013  Duke University 

Kendrick Nunn Class of 2013 Oakland University 

Donta Ingram Class of 2014 Loyola University 

Zack Norvell Class of 2015 Gonzaga University 

Nick Robinson Class of 2015 St.Joseph University 

Manny Patterson Class of 2016 Wisconsin Green Bay University 

Isaiah Moss  Class of 2014 Iowa University 

Kendell Pollard  Class of 2013 Dayton University 

Edward Morrow Class of 2014 Marquette University 

Zion Morgan Class of 2015 UNLV University