Mustangs Phiri 
to become 
LaSalle Explorer
By Ron P. Coderre
Saul Phiri transferred to Putnam Science Academy in September from Worcester Academy.  The move was intended to give the physical 6’4” wing an opportunity to play with a team that features a strong and diversified schedule and receive more exposure to college coaches.
The well thought out move appears to have paid dividends as Phiri recently announced his intention to commit to Atlantic-10 Conference LaSalle University in Philadelphia.  Phiri made his official visit to LaSalle from Feb. 11 -13 and came away satisfied that joining the Explorers and coach John Giannini was where he wanted to spend his next four years.
“I got to bond with the guys.  I liked the atmosphere up there and like the coaching staff a lot.  I think it’s going to be a good situation,” Phiri told City of Basketball Love.
Last season at Worcester Academy Phiri was the top scorer in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference.  This season on the Maple Street campus Phiri has been of one of coach Tom Espinosa’s primary offensive weapons.  After 38 games he’s averaging 12 points, five rebounds and three assists per game.
Phiri, who possesses a number of attributes on the court and can score in multiple ways, is a long-range threat.  He’s a dangerous three-point threat who has more than 80 treys so far this season and could conceivably eclipse the century mark by the end of the season.  He’s also able to score from mid-range and can score off the bounce as well.  
“I’m happy for Saul.  He’s a hard worker who deserves the very best that life and basketball has to offer.  He’s always strived to play at the highest level and the Atlantic-10 Conference was a dream that is now a reality for him,” said coach Espinosa.
A native of Zimbabwe, Phiri and his family moved to upstate New York when he was 3 years old.  He first realized he had a talent for the round ball game in seventh grade when he was invited to join an AAU team.  By his freshman year in high school he was already being touted as a Division I talent.
Prior to making his decision to commit to LaSalle, Phiri was being pursued by Duquesne, Fordham, University of Massachusetts, Delaware, Quinnipiac and others.
Phiri is the third member of this year’s 35-3 Putnam Science Academy team to commit to a Division I program.  His teammate Mamadou Diarra is headed to UConn and fellow Mustang Tyere Marshall is committed to Rider.  Marshall, a native Philadelphian was helpful in convincing Phiri that the City of Brotherly Love and LaSalle would be a good experience for him.
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