McManus headed to UNC Pembroke

Aniah McManus will sign her National Letter of Intent to attend UNC Pembroke later this week.

McManus headed to UNC Pembroke
April 25
02:20 2019

As a 4’10 point guard, from the moment she decided to take basketball seriously, Aniah McManus had doubters telling her what she could and could not accomplish on the court. When the Atkins senior was only a sophomore, she made up her mind that she was going to prove the naysayers wrong … and that’s exactly what she did.

“I don’t remember exactly where I was, but I remember someone hinting that I wouldn’t be able to play at a particular place because of my height,” said McManus.” That just got to me and I decided that my height wasn’t going to matter.”

During her four years as a key contributor for the Lady Camels, McManus proved she could compete with some of the best point guards in the city. An All-Conference performer and two-time selection to the Triad All-Star Classic, McManus finished her senior season averaging 14 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 5 steals. When discussing playing at the varsity level as a 9th and 10th grader, McManus said playing AAU (Amateur Athhletic Union) above her age level prepared her for that.

“Playing with taller, faster, quicker, more experienced girls in AAU was very helpful going into high school. It helped with decision-making, knowing what passes to make, and shot selection,” she said.

On the court McManus is the all-around point guard every team needs to be successful. She has the speed to lead the fast break at any moment and the basketball knowledge to know that’s not always the best option. And she isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and play defense.

At a place in time where everyone thinks they can pull up from 30, it was good to hear McManus say she enjoys playing defense.

“I love defense, that’s my favorite part. Being short, that’s where my height is an advantage. I can intercept the ball as it leaves their hand before it hits the floor,” she continued. “So that’s where my advantage is, I’m able to stay low.  … kind of how Pat Beverly was with Kevin Durant, that’s what I like to do.”

McManus’ decision-making on the court and defensive intensity caught the attention of the coaching staff at UNC Pembroke, a member of the Peach Belt Conference. With just a few weeks left in the school year, McManus is expected to sign her national letter of intent to attend UNCP later this week.

McManus said when she visited the campus while attending a prospect camp, she instantly knew it was where she wanted go.

“As soon as I stepped out the car, I looked around and said ‘I like this place.’ The people and the environment was just so welcoming. It was just something about the campus yelling, ‘come here, come here,’” She laughed.

McManus said while at UNCP she intends to major in biology to prepare her for her career as a pediatrician. With a 4.0 GPA, McManus said she has always understood that books come first and that mindset helped her receive an academic scholarship to UNCP as well.

“It’s not hard balancing sports and school, but it’s not easy either. It’s just more so books before anything else, having determination and knowing that you have a goal,” she said. “In the recruiting process my height is a disadvantage, so I made sure my grades were good and I got academic scholarships to all eight schools that I got accepted.”

With college just around the corner, it’s safe to say McManus has proved her doubters wrong, but she isn’t done yet. McManus has already started making tweaks to her game for the next level.

“This summer I plan to work on my shot release, just trying to get that release quicker and a tighter frame.”

Aniah McManus will sign her National Letter of Intent on Friday, April 26, at Atkins Academic & Technology High School, 3605 Old Greensboro Road, at 8:30 a.m. For more information, contact the school at 336-703-6754.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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