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Oct 3, 1932 - Sept 26, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Arnold Lee Short graduated to glory Friday, September 26, peacefully, while at home in Oklahoma City, at the age of 81. His wife, Cecille Phillips Short; and daughters, Melinda Clonts and Lisa Carlile; were at his side. Arnold was born October 3, 1932, in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to mother, Nora Ellen Short, and father, Cecil Allen Short. Arnold was a well-known Oklahoma athlete, named by The Oklahoman as one of the top 100 athletes in Oklahoma history. He was a three-sport athlete at Oklahoma City University, where he played basketball, tennis and baseball. Excelling in basketball, he was selected as an NCAA All-American his senior year in 1954. He became the 13th overall draft pick by the Fort Wayne (Detroit) Pistons. However, the 6'3" guard opted to play in the AAU Industrial League for the Phillips 66ers. With the 66ers, he was again selected as an AAU All-American and twice voted First Team All-Star. He made the 1956 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team but unfortunately became injured before leaving for Australia and his roster spot had to be replaced. He did get to travel with the team and take his mother along, which was one of his best memories in athletics. He completed a short stint as an officer in the U.S. Army, where he played for the Army baseball and basketball teams, twice being named All-Army in the latter. In 2001, he was selected to enter the Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. After basketball, Arnold went on to coach men's basketball, men's and women's tennis, and served five years as the Athletic Director for Oklahoma City University. His tennis teams were typically ranked in the NCAA top 25. He like to enter USTA tournaments with his players. He was a multiple-USTA Oklahoma District State Champion and in 2010, selected to the USTA Oklahoma District Tennis Hall of Fame. His greatest joy came later in life, serving his Lord and Savior as an ordained pastor in the Methodist church. He served 15 before retiring in 1998. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Cecille; daughters, Lisa (Jerry) Carlile and Melinda (Allen) Clonts. He has five grandchildren, Brittany, Lauren, Reese Carlile, along with Alexis and Davey Clonts; and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home in Oklahoma City.

Published in The Oklahoman on Sept. 28, 2014
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