Phil Argento, a former All-Ohioan at Rocky River Lutheran West High School, has signed a letter of intent to continue his education and his basketball career at Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
Argento, a 6-foot-1 guard from Grafton, Ohio, averaged a school-record 29.5 points and 6.5 assists per game as a senior at Rocky River Lutheran West as he led the team to a 23-3 overall record and a berth in the Division III state semifinals during the 1997-1998 season. For his efforts, Argento was selected as the Division III Player of the Year in Ohio and an Honorable Mention All-American by both USA Today and Street & Smith Magazine. He played in the Ohio North/South All-Star Game and the Ohio/Kentucky All-Star Game. He was also a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Among Argento’s many records at Rocky River Lutheran West, he is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,745 career points. He holds the single-game (46) and single-season (749) records for points as well and scored in double figures in 72 of the 73 games in which he played. He also nailed a school-record 297 three-pointers during his career, including 110 his senior season.
During the past year, Argento has been attending the United States Military Academy Prep School, where he was a member of the basketball team. He averaged 25.5 points per game during the 1998-1999 season and had single-game highs of 54 points and 11 three-pointers.
"Phil is an outstanding scorer," said MVNC head coach Scott Flemming. "He is not only a great three-point shooter, but he can also create shots off the dribble. It is obvious that he has spent many hours in the gym developing his game. His skills will allow him to play either of the guard spots. Because he spent a year at the prep school, it is really like he is coming here as a sophomore only with freshman eligibility. That should help him make a smooth transition."
"In addition to his basketball abilities, Phil is a great student," added Flemming, referring to the fact that Argento was an honor roll student with a 3.6 grade point average in high school. "While recruiting Phil, I sensed that he really desired to be at a Christian college. Needless to say, that is a big plus ."
"I chose MVNC because I felt very comfortable there when I visited," said Argento, who plans to major in Business. "I really liked the coaches and the players, and everyone was extremely friendly. I also chose MVNC because of the academics. I feel that I will learn new things and be challenged at MVNC. Most importantly, I chose MVNC because it is a Christian school. My beliefs go with the guidelines followed at MVNC, and I know that I will grow spiritually there as well as academically and physically."
The Cougars finished the 1998-1999 season with a 26-7 overall record. MVNC also won the American Mideast Conference Tournament for the first time and advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament for the second consecutive year. The team has also posted three consecutive 20-plus win seasons for the first time in school history.