BILLINGS – Kendal Manuel’s basketball career has come full circle. The Billings Skyview star finished high school with a state championship then spent three years in the Pac-12 at Oregon State. Now he’s coming back to Montana to suit up for the Grizzlies.
Manuel announced his intention to transfer to Montana. The 6’4 guard went to Oregon State largely because he had known OSU star Tres Tinkle and coach Wayne Tinkle for years from their time in Missoula.
Manuel started 25 games as a freshman for the Beavers. He averaged 7.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.9 steals per game. But he played less than 11 minutes per game this past season, averaging only 2.6 points per game.
With a dream to eventually play professional basketball, he decided he needed to “make the most” of the rest of his career. And Montana had always been in his mind.
“It felt like the right fit,” said Manuel. “I’ve know that staff over there for a while. I actually wanted to go to Montana out of high school, and then the situation just didn’t happen that way. But it just felt right. I get to come back home. My family will get to watch more games this way. And I just want to put on for the state.”
Manuel will have to sit out next year due to transfer rules. He also sat out his first year at Oregon State because of a broken leg. He is hopeful the NCAA will grant him a medial redshirt for that season, which would give Manuel two years to play for the Griz starting in the 2019-20 season.