Thursday, 15 October 2009

Neate Sager's story on Carleton's Willy Manigat

Neate does his usual sterling work profiling Carleton's 6'0" guard Willy Manigat who continues his CIS playing career across town after two seasons with the Ottawa Gee-Gees. There are very few players who have played in both programs... I recall only Jonathan Addy and Scott Wykes off the top of my head. This should further heat up this white hot rivalry.

Changing of the thankful guard; Gee-Gee-turned-Raven Manigat relishes 'fresh start'


Willy Manigat has pulled off a great cross-over move.

His two-year hoops hiatus behind him, the 6-foot Carleton Ravens guard will face CIS competition at this weekend’s House-Laughton Tournament for the first time since he was an Ottawa Gee-Gee facing the Ravens in the 2007 national semi-final.

Manigat says playing for Carleton was a fate he once resisted, even though he was tight with then-Ravens stars Osvaldo Jeanty and Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie, close friends of his brother, Jimmy.

“Oz and Manny, that’s where my basketball influences came from,” Manigat, 22, says. “Oz was one of the first people to tell me I should get on a travel team. It’s ironic, one of the big reasons I went to Ottawa U is that I grew up with those guys and I kind of wanted to play against them and show what I could do.

“If I go home right now, Manny would probably be there. That’s my family, I thank them for me getting there. They had an influence in me going to Carleton.”

Manigat’s move has been one of the most amicable floor-crossings you’ll see in the nation’s capital. He practised with the Ravens during the latter half of last season while improving his grades.

“People might say things, but what happened at Ottawa U was my fault,” the Samuel Genest grad says. “It’s not like I don’t have the same respect for coach (Dave) DeAveiro. I still do. I just have a fresh start.”

The absence made Manigat appreciate the game all the more.

“The biggest thing with sitting out is realizing what it means to you when you do something every day, to have that passion, that love, and then not be able to do that,” he says. “I understand now what it means to be a student-athlete with the student coming first. The best part, I actually feel my focus on the court is better now that I’m concentrating more on school. It’s easier to be a basketball player when you take care of business.”

Manigat lends experience to the Ravens, who host Bishop’s, UPEI and Saskatchewan this weekend, as Dave Smart coached him on teenaged travel teams.

“His personality has really helped us, since we lost of lot of personalities with the three (tri-captains Aaron Doornekamp, Stu Turnbull and Rob Saunders) who graduated,” Smart says. “Willy’s been super that way. He’s the type of personality that deals with me very well.”

Manigat is also a slasher who can beat his defender and get into the lane, while fourth-year Ravens guard Mike Kenny led the country in three-point shooting last year, thanks largely to how hard he works at getting open.

“They’re both combo guards — Willy likes to score, Mike likes to shoot,” Smart says. “I think they can play a little bit together. They certainly won’t just share 40 minutes.”

Meantime, one Manigat being at Carleton is bound to fuel speculation about there being two. Eighteen-year-old Jahenns Manigat, who’s playing with the Hamilton-based Regional Elite Development Academy, has NCAA Division I interest, but could play CIS.

Willy says the thought of teaming up with his brother holds appeal, but it is Jahenns’call.

Willy wouldn’t push it, but he will be pushing the ball for the Ravens like he often did as a Gee-Gee.

“I had some good games against Carleton,” he says. “I hope I have some better ones for Carleton.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neate Sager put down his Queens Koolaid long enough to notice there are other schools? Wonders never cease.