Former HFC basketball star transfers to UDM and looks forward to the upcoming season
After an injury sidelined him for the entire 2022-23 season, Mak Manciel – a shining star during his playing time with the Hawks – is excited to be playing for the University of Detroit Mercy Titans in the upcoming season.
“It’s great to be back home in the D. I can see myself becoming something special at UDM, something amazing. This is a great opportunity to change the culture here. I’m excited about the opportunities coming up – that’s how I’ve been looking at the situation,” said Manciel, of Detroit.
First Team All-American and Player of the Year at HFC
A 2021 alumnus of Stevenson High School, Manciel attended HFC on a full-ride athletic scholarship and took general studies classes. During his time at HFC during the 2021-22 season, he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association First Team All-American and the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Player of the Year as a freshman. He was the third Hawk to be named First Team All-American in three years. At HFC, he averaged 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.
Manciel transferred to Arkansas State University on a full-ride athletic scholarship. Unfortunately, he injured his knee at practice before the season began. Then the coaching staff changed, and Manciel felt it was time for him to move on.
Ready to put in the work at UDM, following Antoine Davis’ example
He transferred to UDM, which he is attending on a full-ride athletic scholarship and majoring in communications. He is a close friend of Antoine Davis, who played basketball for UDM under his father, Coach Mike Davis, and is now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Watching Antoine and seeing what he was able to do at UDM resonated with me, and I feel I can do just as well,” said Manciel. “I was able to learn a lot from him. I believe I have what it takes: help win games, bring back Bad Boys basketball to Detroit, and put it on the map. Coach Davis has made it clear what he’s asking of me and what my role will be. I’m situated and ready to work.”
The potential to be a special team
Manciel is one of six transfer students joining the UDM men’s basketball team for the 2023-24 season.
"We have a good group of guys who are athletic and can shoot the ball. We added some good size and length, which will help us offensively and defensively, and many of these guys have played at bigger schools, so if they can all buy in and work hard, this can be a really good team,” said Coach Davis. “Manciel was going to be a force at Arkansas State but got injured. He is a really good outside shooter who has good range and someone who should help us."
Manciel is looking forward to playing alongside his fellow transfer students.
“I want to give my teammates a shout-out. I’ve gotten to know them,” he said. “We’re putting in the hard work and getting on the same wavelength – that’s all it is. We can be a special team. This is a great opportunity for us to come in and be in the right mindset. I’m focusing on a full recovery and establishing a leadership role, so we’re all on the same page. We all have a common goal: making it to tournaments and championships.”
Hoop Dreams of playing in the NBA
Manciel’s ultimate goal is playing in the NBA.
“I don’t just want to play in the NBA, I want to be a big factor on a winning team in the NBA, whether that is through scoring or being a main defensive player – whatever it takes,” he said.
His alternate plan is going into sports management and becoming a sports agent.
“I would fight to get players the money they deserve,” said Manciel. “I would be the voice on all sides of the court.”
HFC molded him into the player he is today
Manciel hasn’t forgotten his roots. He will always have a special place in his heart for HFC.
“HFC is honestly one of the best decisions I made in my life. It helped me grow up,” he said. “The coaches helped me work on my confidence and my mental game. They showed me I have what it takes to stand out from the crowd. They helped mold me in the player I am today, and I will always be grateful for that.”
HFC Coach Chris Shepard is proud of Manciel’s accomplishments.
“Mak was a special player for us,” said Shepard. “He was a qualifier who bet on himself and turned that bet into multiple D1 offers. He had an ACL injury this past year, but he will be healthy next year. Mak is going to be a great player for UDM. I can’t wait to watch him.”