We continue our brief profiles of each member of the 2010-11 Creighton men’s basketball team. Join us each weekday from now until the men’s exhibition game against Northern State for an introduction to this year’s Bluejays, from freshmen to seniors.
Quick. Who was the last Creighton men’s basketball player to come from Canada?
Still thinking? According to the good folks at the Creighton Sports Information Department, there hasn’t been a Bluejay from the Great White North. Not until now.
Meet Jahenns Manigat, the wiry and smiley 6-1, 175 pound combo guard from the Canadian capitol of Ottawa. He was recruited to Creighton by former Bluejays head coach Dana Altman and his staff. Manigat switched his oral commitment from Canisius to Creighton last April, then signed and returned a Letter of Intent a few days before Altman bolted for Oregon. But the newcomer from Ontario chose to stick around, becoming an official member of Greg McDermott’s first team at Creighton.
He enrolled in summer school in Omaha and spent the offseason months trying to get stronger physically and gain more experience with his future teammates. Manigat knows he will likely be asked to play the point guard spot this year, and he wanted to gel as much as possible with his fellow Jays. Creighton fans who frequented the Metro Omaha Summer Basketball League saw Manigat begin his adjustment to college-level hoops. But his basketball experience isn’t limited to playing only in Canada.
“At REDA (the Regional Elite Development Academy, we travelled all over the states playing in various showcase tournaments,” Manigat told WBR. “I got a chance to play against guys who were going to big time schools, as well as some guys who were going to some lower level schools.
“I’ve also played internationally a few times, including the last tournament we went to in France. We played an up-tempo style at REDA. We looked to get the ball out in transition and it really worked for us,” he said.
It isn’t surprising, based on that assessment of the system in which he played, that Manigat mentions dribble-drive penetration and confidence in his offensive abilities as the strengths of his game. “I feel like I can help us stretch the defense in order to get looks inside for Kenny (Lawson) and Greg (Echenique),” Manigat said. “But there are also times when I need to make the extra pass instead of taking the shot myself.
“That’s something that I trust our coaching staff will help me out with. Hopefully we’ll have it figured out before the season starts so I can be a positive asset to the team.”
When asked what his expectations are for his first season on the Hilltop, the Manigat mentions the hard work he knows he and the rest of the team is in for.
“We understand that we have to get better every day in order to achieve our goals, but when looking at the team we have this year I have high expectations much like our fans do,” he said. “I feel that once everything gets going, we’ll be a tough team to beat. This should be a fun and exciting year.”