BAYSHORE GARDENS — The last couple of years have been tough for Wilmore Fowler.
Getting fired by the school where you are considered a living basketball legend is difficult.
But the former Palmetto High great will get another chance to show his mettle as a coach this season at Bayshore, which hired him last week.
Fowler was the Palmetto head coach for seven years until 2011 when he was dismissed and the school hired Reggie Bellamy. The decision has never sat well with Fowler, who scored 2,274 points when he ended his career with the Tigers in 1977 setting a school career record that still stands.
The last two years I didnt coach was hard, but I feel great now. I am anxious to get started, Fowler said. We started a little late, but weve got about six or seven players on the football team who are not here yet. The kids on the team need somebody to push them and pat them out on the back and work hard. I always say hard work outworks talent when talent doesnt work.
During the 1970s fans used to pack the old Palmetto gym and sit on the roof to watch Fowler play. If he had played in the 3-point era, the prolific long range shooting guard wouldve have easily topped 3,000 points. He was a big time college recruit who went to Kansas and ended his career at Georgia.
It feels good to get back into the game. I missed it, especially last year it really sunk in. I feel that I have something to give back to the kids and I am grateful that Bayshore is giving me the chance, Fowler said.
Fowler played two years at Kansas where he started in the backcourt with Darnell Valentine and averaged nearly 10 points per game as a sophomore. He finished his career at Georgia where he played with NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.