Kendal Manuel sat out the entirety of the 2015-2016 season with a broken fibula. It was awful and terrible and excruciating. But now its the 2016-2017 season, and it’s time to take a look at who Kendal is via tweets. I call it the “twitter safari.”
Man today 1 year ago I thought I was done playing the game I love for good after a horrific injury. Blessed to be back this year #GoBeavs— Kendal Manuel ⚜ (@iAmKManWell) October 14, 2016
Kendal is back on a court
First and foremost, Kendal Manuel is finally back on a basketball court. After spending the majority of the season on one leg, the hard work has finally paid off. Over the summer, he got back to dunking off of two feet. Two weeks ago, he was finally a full participant in practice again. So what does this mean for the Beavs? It’s hard to say what kind of impact Kendal will have on this upcoming season. The backcourt still has a question mark on it after the departure of GP2, and Kendal could find himself competing for minutes with Stephen Thompon Jr. and newcomer Ronnie Stacy. Pending Wayne Tinkle opts for a smaller rotation, Manuel could see playing time.
Should I cut my hair?? need help— Kendal Manuel ⚜ (@iAmKManWell) October 24, 2016
Kendal is unsure of his hair
Kendal please don’t cut your hair.
Kendal loves his family
As a none-basketball aside, Kendal has taken an unbelievable journey to get to Corvallis. From what I can gather from his official OSU bio, his dad works for the Ministry of Education in Mozambique and played as a representative of Mozambique’s national basketball team. His dad’s still in Africa, and Kendal has lived in Maine, Montana, and New Orleans (right after Katrina), and might have one of the most complex and diverse backgrounds of anybody on the team. You should really go read Slim Kimmel’s phenomenal piece on Kendal’s story here. And then come back and read about something even more profound; Kendal loving Drake.
somewhere between i want it and i got it— Kendal Manuel ⚜ (@iAmKManWell) November 4, 2015
Kendal loves Drake
If you scroll for a minimum of three thumb scrolls on Kendal’s twitter and stop at random, there’s a 33% chance you’ll land on a Drake lyric. This is very important, because in order to be good at anything, you have to love Drake first. According to his twitter, Kendal loves music, specifically Hip-Hop. It’s also really easy to see that Kendal loves his teammates. And his teammates love him. His timeline is filled with mentions of teammates, teammates mentioning him. And his basketball past is filled with examples of him being well-liked. Kendal was the team captain on his basketball team, his track team, AND his football team in high school. Regardless of his contributions on the court, off the court Manuel is clearly an intangible “locker room” guy that people gravitate towards. As the young Beavers try and figure things out early in the season, I imagine his good vibes will be much needed.
Man @Dame_Lillard my favorite player... Gotta learn to change speeds like that— Kendal Manuel ⚜ (@iAmKManWell) September 14, 2016
Kendal wants to play like Dame
When you watch Kendal’s very brief highlights on Hudl, you can see flashes of Dame in his game already. The 6’4” number two overall prospect in Montana in 2015 slashes to the basket in a manner reminiscent of Lillard and relies heavily on his speed and athleticism to get to the hoop. He averaged 19 and 20 points his Junior and Senior year of high school, and his scoring ability may find a place contributing in Tinkle’s offense coming off the bench early this season.