Quick decision-making does not appear to be a problem for Gianna McManaman.
A 5-foot-8 high school point guard from Pittsboro, North Carolina, McManaman received a scholarship offer Friday morning from the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team. Her commitment announcements hit social media less than an hour later.
McManaman, who graduates in 2023, had numerous other suitors and easily could have taken her time before verbally committing to a college program. Instead she pulled the trigger.
Her Twitter post read, “It has always been a dream of mine to be a Lobo, & today that dream is coming true. I am grateful for this opportunity given to me by @CoachBradbury. I’m ecstatic to announce that I will be continuing my athletic & academic journey at the University of New Mexico! Go Lobos!”
Bradbury confirmed UNM is recruiting McManaman but NCAA rules prohibit coaches from otherwise commenting on unsigned players.
McManaman, as it turns out, has New Mexico influences. Her grandfather is Robert Sanchez, the longtime club coach of New Mexico-Texas Heat Elite, who helped numerous players hook on with collegiate programs during his tenure.
It has always been a dream of mine to be a Lobo, & today that dream is coming true. I am grateful for this opportunity given to me by @CoachBradbury. I’m ecstatic to announce that I will be continuing my athletic & academic journey at the University of New Mexico! Go Lobos! 🐺 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/GtBv9sypl9
— Gianna McManaman (@GiannaMcmanaman) April 30, 2021
New Mexicans Dani Williams (Texas A&M/Texas), Alexa Romano (Stanford) and Jaedyn De La Cerda (UNM) are among Sanchez’s former players, and McManaman got a chance to watch them during visits to the state. She’s following in the footsteps of De La Cerda, who also committed to the Lobos on the day she first received an offer.
Sanchez was delighted by McManaman’s decision and he looks forward to seeing her play at the Pit.
“I think UNM is potentially getting a great player,” Sanchez said. “Gianna’s smart and she’s a good shooter, but I’d call her more of a pass-first point guard. She gets the biggest kick out of making a good pass and if you’re open, she will get you the ball.”
McManaman plays for Northwood High School in Pittsboro and for FBC Carolina Elite. She averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals last season.
HURST TO TRANSFER: Not all the social media news was good for UNM. Senior guard Ahlise Hurst announced Friday night via Twitter that she intends to transfer.
A native of Bendigo, Australia, Hurst was a three-year starter for the Lobos and is among the program’s career leaders with 184 3 pointers. She averaged 12.4 points last season and shared the team lead with 30 steals.
In her post Hurst thanked UNM’s coaching staff, her teammates and Lobos fans, saying sh has “chosen to enter the transfer portal and continue on my path to strive for the best I can be.”
Hurst follows 2020-21 UNM teammates Corina Carter, Autumn Watts and Azaria Robinson into NCAA’s crowded transfer portal. As of Friday more than 1,000 Division I players were listed.