6-11, 215-pound center John Manning turned in a solid sophomore season in 2008/2009, averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds and over three blocks per game for Chantilly High School’s (VA) varsity basketball squad. Manning, who boasts a 7’1″ wing span, is pleased with how he developed as a sophomore.
“I feel like I got a lot stronger since my freshman year, my free throws improved and I think we did better overall as a team,” Manning said. “Now, I’m working on improving my outside game with a jump shot and with my ball-handling. I’m focusing a lot on conditioning and staying in shape.”
Looking to improve his game against top competition, Manning is suiting up for the Boo Williams Summer League squad on the AAU circuit.
“It’s a lot different than where I play,” Manning said of playing for the Boo Williams AAU squad, which consists of top talents such as rising senior point guard Kendall Marshall (UNC recruit), rising senior guard Andre Dawkins (Duke recruit), rising senior forward Travis McKie (Wake Forest recruit) and highly rated rising junior forward James McAdoo, among others. “It’s good for me because it’s more like the college game, with bigger guys and stronger guys.”
Although no scholarships have been offered, a handful of Division 1 programs have expressed serious interest so far. This includes programs from the ACC and Big 10.
“Right now, probably Virginia Tech, George Mason, Penn State, N.C. State,” Manning answered when asked which schools are showing the most interest right now. “My coach has gotten a call [from the new Virginia staff], but I haven’t talked to them yet.”
Manning has visited both Virginia and Virginia Tech, but he hasn’t visited UVa since the coaching change. And he has yet to speak with any of the new coaches directly, although he is familiar with Cavaliers assistant coach Jason Williford from Williford’s previous stint with American University.
Manning’s parents both attended UVa, but will that be a factor if the Cavaliers extend an offer?
“My parents would like me to go to Virginia, but anywhere that’s best for me they’d be happy with,” Manning said. “I’m just looking for the right school.”
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