Brady Manek has been flying under the radar for some time now. A four star recruit from the outskirts of the Oklahoma City metro, Manek would be the headline of the state’s preps standouts during most seasons. This year, that honor shined on Manek’s now-teammate Trae Young, a McDonald’s All-American and Oklahoma’s back-to-back Gatorade Player of the Year.
In a high school season that predominantly focused on Young, Manek led Harrah High School to the state quarterfinals, averaging 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the field.
Still feeling the need to prove himself, Manek is ready for play at the collegiate level. In fact, defying others’ assumptions is a pretty common occurrence for the 6-9 forward.
“I feel like I’ve heard it quite a bit,” said Manek. “People usually say I’m not very athletic, then they come see me play and realize ‘maybe he is athletic.’”
Hailing from 36 miles north of Norman, Manek brings a multi-dimensional offensive game down to OU. In addition to his athleticism and commanding dunks, he likes to create mismatches on the perimeter with a strong 3-point game.
Manek was ranked as the 14th-best power forward in the class of 2017 by Scout.com and was named No. 24 by 247Sports and No. 30 by ESPN. He was selected by The Oklahoman as its Little All-City Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons for 2016 and 2017 while being named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State First Team in 2017.
Of the four incoming scholarship members on the OU roster, three hail from the Sooner state. Manek, a lifelong Sooner fan, joins Young (Norman) and JUCO transfer Ty Lazenby (Glencoe) as local players representing their home state at OU.
“Being a Sooner means a lot,” said Manek. “I grew up being a fan, love being around and being in this atmosphere. It’s great.”
His head coach knows the importance of local talent and is looking forward to what Manek and his new teammates are capable of doing with their home state stitched across the front of their uniforms.
“We love having local players,” said Kruger. “They feel a little more passionate about their home school, their state school. They’re willing to lay a little more on the line to accomplish what they want to.”
For Manek, his first opportunity to display his game to Sooner Nation will be 7,500 miles away from Norman. The Sooners head “Down Under” on Thursday for a foreign tour to New Zealand and Australia, opening exhibition play in Auckland, New Zealand on August 6. To learn more about the international trip, click here.