Brady Manek Named Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Athlete of the Year

Parker Thune

Oklahoma senior forward Brady Manek has been named the Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Athlete of the Year, the university announced in a Friday press release.

The award was determined by the Oklahoma AAU executive committee and considered nominations of amateur athletes with Oklahoma ties in any sport. Previous Sooners to win the award include Oklahoma football players Sam Bradford, Baker Mayfield, Gerald McCoy and Jason White.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” said Manek. “Being from Oklahoma, it’s always special to be associated with Jim Thorpe and his legacy. I’m grateful for my teammates and coaches who have helped put me in a position to succeed.”

Hailing from Harrah, Okla., Manek has been a staple of Lon Kruger's squad the last three seasons. He has started in 91 of OU's last 97 games and boasts career averages of 12.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 3-point field goals.

Manek enters his senior year with 1,188 career points (31st in OU history) and 187 3-pointers (seventh in OU history). He is the only player in program history to accumulate at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 150 3-pointers and 75 blocks.

“We’re so happy for Brady,” said Kruger. “Can’t imagine anyone more deserving. He’s had a terrific career at OU while always displaying strong integrity and character. He’s a great ambassador for our program and university. We’re very happy for him and his family on an award that’s much deserved.”

In the 2019-20 season, Manek averaged 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while sinking 71 3-pointers at a 38% clip. He was an All-Big 12 Third selection and ranked third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage, eighth in scoring, ninth in blocks and 12th in rebounding.

The forward played a large role in OU’s runs to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and 2019 and helped lead the Sooners to a third-place finish and likely March Madness appearance in 2020.

Additionally, Manek has shown strong work ethic in the classroom, earning Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors for the past two seasons. He was one of 41 NCAA Division I men's basketball student-athletes named to a 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

Thorpe, widely considered the greatest athlete in state history, was an Olympic gold medalist in both the decathlon and pentathlon. He also played football, baseball, basketball, boxing, lacrosse, swimming and hockey.

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