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Basketball star Thorpe transfers back to Shaler

| Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, 2:07 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Shaler's Geno Thorpe drives to the basket against Seneca Valley during their game Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, at Shaler (Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)

Basketball standout Geno Thorpe, who transferred this summer to a Florida high school, has re-enrolled at Shaler, the senior said Monday.

The 6-foot-3 point guard moved to Orlando in July to live with his father. There, he enrolled at West Oaks Academy, a small private school with a successful basketball program.

Thorpe confirmed his return through text messages but declined further comment. He wrote on Twitter: “Due to the situation and issues at WOA I have now been registered back to Shaler.”

West Oaks coach Iren Rainey believed family issues prompted Thorpe's return to Shaler and said Thorpe had no problems at school. Thorpe missed home, Rainey said, but other circumstances also influenced his move.

“Geno wasn't the final decision-maker as far as him wanting to leave,” he said.

A Penn State recruit, Thorpe averaged 21.5 points last season for Shaler, which reached the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals.

Thorpe said he plans to rejoin Shaler's team, and coach Paul Holzshu said Thorpe would be welcomed back to the program with no hard feelings.

West Oaks Academy went 38-1 last season and won the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association title, which operates outside Florida's state association.

Rainey called Thorpe “a great kid with a bright future.”

Rainey understands the plight of transfer students better than most. In 2002, with his mother living in Europe, Rainey was a star senior for Farrell after transferring from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. But the WPIAL ruled Rainey ineligible and forced Farrell to forfeit games.

“It's not easy leaving your comfort zone and being away from home,” Rainey said.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at charlan@tribweb.com or 412-380-5666.

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