Collin McManus has become the latest NH basketball player to transfer from their NHIAA school to the prep ranks. The 6'10" center is transferring from Bedford High to Northfield Mount Hermon, a prep school in Massachusetts. McManus will be repeating his sophomore year next season, officially reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
"My decision to transfer from Bedford to Northfield Mount Hermon was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make" McManus told the NH Notebook. "The reasons I have decided to do so is because I feel that I would have the better learning experience that prep schools have to offer, especially at Northfield because they are on the higher side of academics in their league."
There are many things to consider when deciding whether to go to a prep school. However McManus is confident that NMH will be a good fit for him, not just for basketball but also for academics and socially.
"I also made this decision because of the friendly environment that is given off when you are there" said McManus. "When I visited one day I was welcomed with open arms and treated like a student that has been there for as long as anyone else. The basketball team was and is very open and friendly towards me. From the first day I met with them I was greeted by most of the basketball team and instead of being by myself or being alone I was able to find out how the guys were and what they were like and I was very happy to see that they are very kind and generous people, off the court. The Head coach John Carrol has many tactics and strategies of the game that I can't wait to see. His experience as a coach adds to the large table of things he has to offer the team and every person personally, to get better in their own set of skills. The basketball team was a major component in the decision, but I would not have made my decision final until I saw the real life at Northfield Mount Hermon. I believe I have accomplished that with the visits I have made there throughout the year and the experience I have had when I was there. What has appealed to me the most was the kindness I was given as a potential student and basketball player at NMH and how everyone there welcomed me with open arms. From the first time I visited to now my view of them has not changed."
NMH is one of the top prep schools in the country for both academics and basketball. They compete in the NEPSAC AAA, which is the highest class in the most competitive prep school league in the country. They have been ranked in the top 10 teams in the country for each of the past 10 years. Their head coach John Carroll has coached over 60 players who have gone on to play Division I college basketball. Four of those players played for NMH this past winter, as the team graduates Ethan O'Day (committed to Vermont), Spike Albrecht (committed to Michigan), Evan Cummins (committed to Harvard) and Ryan Oliver (committed to Siena).
With all the talent they're graduating, Coach Carroll is looking to reload. A couple weeks ago star freshman guard Ian Sistare made the decision to transfer from Trinity High in Manchester to NMH, and now McManus has followed suit.
McManus had a breakout season this past winter as a sophomore for Bedford. He showed rapid improvement in his agility and overall skill set, and helped lead the Bulldogs to the Division II state title game in just the program's fourth year.
"My game has developed greatly over the past year because of my Bedford High school season" said McManus. "One of the great people I had to help me with my post moves and center/power foward skills was Mark Elmendorf. He was the assistant coach at Bedford High and made sure that I was working out and always getting better throughout the games and practices that I had for the last 2 years. He has made me a better player and gave me more confidence in my abilities to play basketball. He worked on everything with me from post moves to jump shots to strength and conditioning and rebounding skills because he showed me that rebounds win games and from my experience so far that has always been right. My level of play has increased greatly from previous years by having Mr. Elmendorf at my side and the great team I've had this year. They all helped me improve in my game and the passion I have for it. My team always gave me confidence when I did not have it and pushed me as hard as they could to get me better in every way. The way I have developed is from the amazing team I was able to have and the coaching that came with it."
McManus will look to continue that momentum from the high school campaign into the upcoming AAU season. He will be playing for the NE Playaz, which is one of the premier AAU programs in New England.
"The summer before freshman year I realized that I wanted to play at the next level and personally try to be a better player. Before that, I felt that the only talent I had was being taller than everyone else, so from that summer on I have been competing with others and myself and working really hard to become a better basketball player."
Attending Northfield Mount Hermon is a great opportunity for McManus. He will certainly be missed on Bedford's team over the next two years.