Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/24/12
This interview is part of a series of exclusive articles on players, coaches and executives from the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings.
Brett Manney’s sporting roots are dug deep in Philadelphia soil.
An all-around standout at Holy Ghost Prep, Manney excelled in soccer and basketball as well as lacrosse, a sport he began playing only as an 8th grader. He was recruited by Division I programs in all three sports, but decided to play lacrosse at the University of Delaware where he excelled as a defensive midfielder and helped the Blue Hens reach the Final Four for the first time in 2007 when Philly hosted the NCAA tourney. Manney also received the UD Student Service for Athletes Outstanding Contributor Award for his community service efforts.
Manney played for the NLL champion Washington Stealth in 2010, but was traded to the Wings before the 2011 season. Now a fixture on the Wings’ defense, he also is a coach in the community for the NXT club program who also does broadcasting and writes for ESPNHS.
Manney has helped the Wings start 4-2 and take over first place in the NLL’s Eastern Division. The Wings play tonight at Edmonton as they gear for the All-Star Break.
What skills can outdoor lacrosse players better develop by participating in box lacrosse?
Manney: “Outdoor players can learn and develop their games immensely by playing box lacrosse. Since you are inside surrounded by boards naturally your hand eye coordination improves. The ability to catch and throw in tight confines increases your awareness and quick decision making. When picking up a ground ball you are forced to make a decision right away and it improves your ground ball skills on picking the ball up faster and making a play sooner. There is a reason why Canadians succeed at the NCAA level and it comes from their box experience. As I see it all of the best professional outdoor Americans all play or have played in the NLL.”
What advice would you give to college juniors and seniors to make themselves more attractive to college recruiters/coaches?
Manney: “I would say to make themselves the best possible player. Much like getting a job, players have to fill out their resume. In addition to being a great lacrosse player they have to take care of business in the classroom which will make college coaches jobs easier when it comes to recruiting them as a lacrosse player. In addition, do not just stick to lacrosse, if you play soccer, participate in that and in other sports as well.
“Personally I know that my background in playing soccer and basketball at a high level growing up helped my lacrosse game. Finally, I would encourage kids to not just be student athletes but good Samaritans within the community. Participate in community events, run a 5k for charity, tutor young children. There is more to life then just lacrosse.”
What was the best moment of your college lacrosse career?
Manney: “I would have to say my junior year when Delaware advanced to the Final Four. It was the first time in school history and we had a phenomenal team which included some star players who succeed in college and still are today in the professional circuit. Some of my best friends were on that team and the bonds we made are what makes us good friends to this day. That ‘run’ to the Final Four brought a lot of attention and praise to a school and a lacrosse program which certainly deserved it.”