MANNING, DANIEL RICARDO
Hometown: Lawrence, KS (Lawrence HS)
Link to pictures: http://www.kuathletics.com/mensbasketball/photos/historic/manning.html
Link to Coaches site
1985: Lettered, Freshman of the Year, Big 8 Newcomer of the Year.
1986: Lettered, Big 8 Player of the Year, All Big 8
1987: Lettered, All-Big 8, All-American
1988: Lettered, Captain, All-Big 8, All-American, Conference Scoring Champ, NCAA Tourney Outstanding Player, National Player of the Year, on Olympic Team.
DANNY MANNING (Player 1985-88, Director of Student Operations 19 , Assistant 19 )
With all due respect to the talent of Wilt, Danny Manning was the greatest overall player in the history of the storied University of Kansas basketball program, evidenced by the facts that his is Kansas’ all-time leading scorer with 2,951 points and rebounder with 1,187.
Danny was born May 17, 1966 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His father Ed was a former NBA professional basketball player. In the early 80’s, they lived in Greensboro, Norh Carolina, where Danny starred on the Page High School team, drawing attention from recruiters across the country. The Mannings moved to Lawrence in 1983 when new KU coach Larry Brown hired Ed as an assistant. Manning has been a former teammate of Brown in the ABA, and had been working as an over-the-road trucker.
And so Danny spent his senior year at Lawrence High School, and what a year it was. LHS officials were astonished at the crowds who came to watch the star who had committed to KU. Leading the Lions to the 6A state championship game, where they lost a heartbreaker to Wyandotte High, he was named the 1984 Kansas Player of the Year.
Danny was immediately installed in the Jayhawks’ starting lineup, scoring a KU freshman record of 496 points during the 1985 season, and being named the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year and second team all-conference. “Danny was obviously a fabulous player,” Bill Self said, who was a senior at Oklahoma State that year. “I say first-hand having an opportunity to play against him when I played the back of a 2-3 zone at Oklahoma State and he went 15-of-16 from the field against us. Then I had the opportunity to towel him off and fetch water for him as a graduate assistant his sophomore year.”
As a sophomore, Danny had a pivotal role on KU’s final four team, leading the Jayhawks in scoring, while capturing the Big Eight’s Player of the Year award, and earning second team all-american honors.
As a Junior, Manning became the sixth Jayhawk to earn consensus first team All-American honors, while averaging 23.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He became the all-time leading scorer in Kansas history when he scored 31 points against Missouri during the Big Eight tournament. He was named the conference Player of the Year for the second year.
Although the decision was difficult, as he was likely a very high prospect in the upcoming NBA draft, Manning chose to forego the draft and return for his senior season.
It was a strange year. With ten players returning, the Hawks were named No. 1 in many of the preseason polls, but a career-ending injury to starting forward Archie Marshall and losing starting center Marvin Branch, caused the team to falter to a 12-8 start. Then things started to jell, as they won their next five conference games, before falling to #6 Duke and #4 Oklahoma. They then won four of the next five games to end the regular season at 21-11.
Now unranked, KU got a #6 seed, but beat #18 Xavier, squeaked by 15th-seed Murray State, and then beat Vanderbilt to reach the Elite Eight, where they were joined by Big 8 foes, K-State and Oklahoma, both of which had beaten KU twice earlier in the season. KU turned the game against the Wildcats into a runaway 71-58 victory. Revenge was again on the Jayhawks mind, as they were scheduled to play the No. 5 ranked Duke Blue Devils, who had beaten the Jayhawks in the ’86 NCAA semifinal and the current team 74-70 in overtime a month earlier in Lawrence.
In a see-saw game against the Blue Devils, which was close with four minutes to go, Manning stuffed in a missed layup, rebounded, blocked shots and led the avenged Jayhawks to a 66-59 win, to set up the first all-Big Eight championship game in NCAA history.
Every scouting report said “don’t run with Oklahoma.” But the Jayhawks did run, and made 17 of their first 20 field goal shots, ending the half with 71% from the field. The half ended in a 50-50 tie against the 4th ranked Sooners. They had played OU’s game and had survived. Coach Brown had substituted freely, while Tubbs had rested only one starter for three minutes.
In the second half, the game see-sawed with KU finally
going ahead 77-71 with three minutes to go. However, KU missed four of its next
five free throws while Oklahoma came back to within one 78-77. Then Scooter
Barry put in a free throw and Manning drew a foul at :14. He made both, and
another two after being fouled with five seconds to salt away the national
championship. Not only was Manning named the Most Outstanding Player of the
1988 NCAA tournament, but he was named the national Player of the Year.
Danny was selected on the last Olympic basketball team made up of collegians. Unfortunately coached by Georgetown’s John Thompson, who incredibly benched Manning in a crucial game which put the US out of the gold medal running, the team wound up with the bronze medal.
Manning, the third-leading scorer in 1988, was invited to serve on the committee established to help select the 2008 Olympic basketball team and its coaches.
In the Pros
It's difficult for today's youth to imagine just how wonderful a player Manning was because they're programmed to measure a basketball player by his NBA stature. Manning was never the player in the pros he was in college because he suffered three ACL injuries -- the first during his rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers, which had selected him with the first pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.
When Manning suffered that first knee injury, after playing only 26 games in the NBA, Kansas fans were stunned. They were convinced Manning was indestructible. During his four years at Kansas, Manning hadn't missed a single game because of an injury while playing virtually every minute.
The next year didn’t start well either, as he missed the first eleven games with a knee injury. However, he ended up playing 71 games, and finishing third on the team in scoring. He also missed nine games in 1991 with knee problems.
His health returned however and he started all 82 games in 1992, averaging 19.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. His most productive NBA season was 1992-1993, when he averaged 22.8 points a game and was selected to play in the All-Star Game. He was also an All-Star the following season.
Late in the 1994 season, he was traded to the Atlantic Hawks, leaving Los Angeles as the Clippers' all-time leading scorer with 7,120 career points. In 1995, after being traded to the Phoenix Suns, he again tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was lost for the season.
Continuing knee problems forced Manning to become a part-time player in 1996, after he had undergone two more surgeries. He won the 1997-1998 Sixth Man Award as the best off the bench in the NBA, averaging 13.5 points, though he played only about 17 minutes a game.
Manning went to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1999 and played for different teams during his final four seasons in the league. He announced his retirement in the summer of 2003.
Back to KU
New Jayhawk coach Bill Self hired Manning to be the Director of Student-Athlete Development/Team Manager at KU. In that position, Manning was the team travel coordinator, oversaw equipment ordering and distribution and organized and assisted in the youth holiday clinic and summer camp program. In 2004-05, Manning also took on many director of operations duties for KU.
In 200_ Danny was promoted to Assistant Coach. Self said, “I mean, who wouldn’t want their son to be mentored by a guy who has everything you want your son to be? Think about it: he graduated, won a national championship, was No. 1 pick in the draft, an Olympian, two-time NBA all-star, family man, has his priorities straight. Who wouldn’t want their son mentored by a guy like that on a daily basis?” In his role as assistant coach, Manning works with KU's big men. Five Jayhawk bigs have been selected in the NBA Draft since he has been on staff - Wayne Simien, Julian Wright, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun.
During his first decade or so in the NBA, Manning always maintained an off-season home here. But during the last few years, he has made Lawrence his permanent home. He and his wife Julie have a daughter, Taylor, and a son, Evan.
· Manning's jersey was retired during the 1992 season.
· Voted to the All-time All-Big Eight basketball team in 1996.
· Enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 23, 2008.
· Named to the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame for his early high school career at Page High School in North Carolina.
· He is also a member of the Lawrence (Kan.) High School Hall of Fame.
Sources (Books and Articles):
Sources (Internet Biographies):