Learning from his dad, Manning Jr. brings skills to Charm City Challenge


It shouldn't surprise anyone that Greg Manning Jr. can shoot the basketball. He had a good teacher.

Manning is one of the guards on the U.S. team that will play the Baltimore All-Stars in the fourth annual Marines Charm City Challenge on Sunday at Towson Center.

"My dad taught me how to play and shoot, coached me in middle school and is someone to look up to," Manning Jr. said.

Greg Manning Sr. is a familiar name in this area, having played four seasons (1977-81) at the University of Maryland. He scored 1,561 points (13.2 average) and set school season (90.8) and career (85.8) records for free-throw percentage.

Manning Jr. is a 6-foot-1 sharpshooter with a smooth touch, thanks mainly to his taking 300 to 500 shots after school every day. Manning Jr. played at Chattahoochee High in Alpharetta, Ga.

"Greg's entire life has focused around basketball, and I guess that's a good thing, playing hoops and going to school," said Manning Sr., who, five years ago, became the athletic director at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta upon the recommendation of then-basketball coach Lefty Driesell.

Driesell was Manning's coach at Maryland.

"Greg is a great kid. He's been everything a dad could want in a son, although at his age now he's kind of like a buddy," Manning Sr. said. "He grew up with the Maryland program as a ball boy [ages 10-11] and wants to be a college player. Coming from a small school as I did, he will have to raise his level of play to make his own mark."

While he has yet to commit to a college, Maryland is not on his list. The younger Manning is interested in Holy Cross (Maine), Charleston-Southern (S.C.), Evansville (Ind.), The Citadel (S.C.) and Loyola (Maryland).

"I think he shoots the ball much better than I ever did, but they [scouts, coaches] tell me he is not as athletic," said Manning Sr., who was a Terps basketball analyst for 15 years while living in Ellicott City before moving to Atlanta.

"Your son is never tough enough for the old man, and I think he has to work on his toughness. No. 2, he has to work on his quickness and there are some things you can do that can help you get quicker."

An All-Fulton County choice, Manning Jr. averaged 15 points and 5.0 assists in leading Chattahoochee to a 29-2 overall record and the third round of the state playoffs.

Manning Jr. shot 43 percent from three-point range and 93 percent from the free-throw line. He will compete in tonight's three-point contest at Dunbar High School.

The younger Manning was in eighth grade when the family moved to Georgia, but he has remained a Terps fan. His biggest fan is Greg Manning Sr.

"He has always been there to give me good advice," said Manning Jr.

NOTES: The dunk and three-point contest will be today at 6:30 p.m. at Dunbar High. Admission is $5. ... University of Maryland recruit James Gist, a 6-7 senior from Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, is on the U.S. team. The Baltimore All-Star team features seven All-Metro players, including co-Player of the Year Will Thomas of top-ranked Mount St. Joseph. Woodlawn's Jason Goode, a Maryland football recruit, also is on the team.


Featured game

U.S. team

(coached by Tim McKenna, Good Counsel) RaSean Dickey, Marlboro County(S.C.) High; Zam Frederick Jr., Calhoun County (S.C.) High; James Gist, Good Counsel, Wheaton; Adrian Joseph, Brewster Academy, NH.; Greg Manning Jr., Chattahoochee (Ga.) High; Cheyenne Moore, South Kent (Conn.) School; Anthony Morrow, Charlotte Latin School, N.C.; Drew Neitzel, Wyoming Park (Mich.) High; Isaiah Swann, Hargrave Military Academy, Va.; Darian Townes, Hargrave Military Academy, Va.

Baltimore team

(coached by Mike Rudd, Glen Burnie) Branden Albert, Glen Burnie; Justin Drummond, McDonogh; Lance Fuller, Woodlawn; Jason Goode, Woodlawn; Mitch Guest, Glen Burnie; Darnell Harris, St. Frances; Jerome Johnson, Dunbar/IMG Academy; Jamal Smith, Towson Catholic; Will Thomas, Mount St. Joseph; Leon Williams, Gibbons.

Preliminary game

City team

(coached by Eric Lee, Dunbar; Dana Johnson, Southside) Jermaine Bolden, Douglass; Gordon Brown, St. Frances; Gordon Chase, St. Frances; Brett Foelber, Gibbons; Camontae Griffin, Dunbar; Kenny Hasbrouck, Gibbons; Barry Jenifer, Dunbar; Tre Love, Douglass; Leroy Mack Jr., Mount St. Joseph; Donta Ridley, Lake Clifton; Byron Roundtree, Dunbar.

Suburban team

(coached by Kim Rivers, Randallstown) Jesse Brooks, Spalding; Phillip Brown, Aberdeen; Barry Cornish, Lansdowne; Marcus Cousin, Randallstown; Torian Deane, Randallstown; Bassirou Dieng, Riverdale Baptist; Darren Hopkins, Towson Catholic; Jason Loughry, Spalding; Kevin Mallory, Woodlawn; Maurice Martin, Calvert Hall; Mike Smelkinson, Long Reach.

Charm City Challenge

When: Sunday

Where: Towson Center

Times: 3 p.m. -- City vs. Suburban All-Stars; 5 p.m. -- Baltimore vs. U.S. All-Stars.

Admission: Students, $10; general admission, $15; reserved, $25.

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