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Manuel Makes Prep School Decision

by Transition Hoops Report

Like many young basketball players, Kendal Manuel set a goal to play Division 1 college basketball before he ever knew how tall he was going to be or how much talent he would end up with. All he knew was that he would do whatever it would take to make it happen. As a 6’4 and skilled senior shooting guard, Manuel has received multiple D2, NAIA, and junior college offers. But the prep school route has caught his eye as a way to try and keep his D1 dreams alive.

Prep schools are unique in that they give students the opportunity to have another year of high school. While most prep schools offer a K-12 experience, they also allow prospects to be a post graduate high school student and athlete that will not lose a year of eligibility for college. This then allows players to go through the AAU circuit for an additional year to increase recruitment and get more exposure.

Manuel is a really young senior and will graduate at age 17. He won’t turn 18 until September 13th. This was one of the major factors in his decision to go to a prep school. “The biggest reason I‘m going to a prep school is because I’m young and could use this year to develop my body and overall game so I can hopefully end up playing at the D1 level," said Manuel.

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Manuel is clearly a Division 1 talent. He is a long and bouncy with a picture perfect jumpshot. Manuel’s first step is explosive and he can finish strong in transition. Manuel commented that the biggest things he will be working on are “putting in a lot of work and time in the weight room to get my body right… and on the court my ball handling and using my length and athleticism on the defensive end.”

Manuel has decided to play at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Arizona (formerly Westwind Prep). He is really excited for the opportunity to play with and against elite competition every day in practice and throughout his season. And he will be out on the AAU circuit again this year with Idaho Select. “My biggest goals for this AAU and Prep season are to showcase the things that I can do and show the improvements from the previous year to hopefully have some D1 offers to choose from.”

For Kendal Manuel, the D1 dream is alive as he reclassifies to the class of 2016.

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After talking to several prep schools from across the country you get a real sense about how they operate. The majority of prep schools are located on the east coast and most are very expensive. They do have financial aid and opportunities to lower the cost based on how good the player is, their financial need and admittance requirements. Prep schools vary in how much emphasis they put on education for post graduate kids. Some kids are qualifiers and may want to take some college courses and others need the extra year of high school to help qualify for college.

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High end prep schools garnish a lot of attention from colleges of all levels, especially D1. They play in prep school tournaments, leagues, and against junior colleges. Room and board varies from school to school. Some have dorms and others have apartments or houses with a supervisor providing 3 meals per day.

Each prep school is very different. If prep school is an option that players are considering, it is very important to research and find the school that is the right fit.

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