October 6 will have unparalleled meaning for former UMPI Basketball star Patrick Manifold from this day forward. This date, now etched in Manifolds personal history is the day that he begins to live out his life-long dream of playing basketball professionally. Manifold was recently signed by the Glasgow Rocks of the British Basketball League (BBL) and today, October 6, the 2013 UMPI graduate will make his regular season debut as the Rocks open BBL play hosting the Surrey United.
"I am delighted to announce that my dream of becoming a professional basketball player is now a reality. I have signed with the Glasgow Rocks in Scotland, and I will be competing in the BBL during the 2013/2014 season. I would like to thank Coach (Sterling) Davis and the whole Glasgow Rocks organization for this opportunity."
The 6'8 Manifold will team with 6'9 forward Daniel Northern, 6'7 Sterling Davis and sharp-shooting Gareth Murray to give the Glasgow squad a bigger and more diverse rotation of players at the forward position. Northern, who starred at Tennessee Tech and player/coach Davis (Tulane) are established professionals having played throughout the world in various professional leagues and Murray recently represented his native Great Britain in the 2013 EuroBasket tournament, a FIBA qualifying event for the World Cup and Olympic Games.
Manifold's strong, athletic, frame and high energy is something that Coach Davis is excited to utilize at both ends of the court:
"Patrick is a player that will bring a very high work ethic to the team which is something that I hope will be contagious and spread throughout the group. He is a big strong body that will give us that extra power on the interior that we have struggled with over the last couple of seasons," Davis added, "He has the ability to step outside and knock down the perimeter jumper as well as score with his back to the basket which I think will be a big asset to the makeup of our team."
Fans who watched Manifold dominate UMPI foes understand exactly why the Glasgow front office is so excited to add the athletic forward to their roster. Manifold averaged 17.7ppg and 8.9rpg in 2012-13, a remarkable season for the Blue & Gold, that saw the native of Great Yarmouth, England awarded a spot on the 2013 USCAA 2nd Team All-American squad. Manifold was also named the 2013 NCAA DIII Independents National Player of the Year.
The only professional basketball team in Scotland, the Glasgow Rocks are the BBL's oldest franchise and enjoy a large following throughout the UK. The Rocks home court is housed in the Emirates Arena, a state of the art, 7,000 seat venue that opened in 2012 to rave reviews as Scotland's premiere recreational facility. Emirates Arena is the largest home court in the BBL.
Manifold will begin his professional basketball career later today as he dons the navy and white of the Rocks for the first of 36 games in the BBL regular season. The 12 team League will play series of three games against each BBL opponent until late April when the playoffs begin for each of the professional squads.
Follow Manifold and the Glasgow Rocks organization at their website: