Rounding out: Barbe’s Manley working on all aspects of her game

Published 11:00 am Friday, June 17, 2022

Soft-spoken off the court, Barbe High guard Mikaylah Manley’s game speaks volumes on it.

The rising senior earned Class 5A all-state honors last year, averaging 18.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game.

For Manley, the true joy from the season came from being reunited with friends after spending her sophomore season in the Houston area after Hurricane Laura in August of 2020.

Email newsletter signup

“I had a good year over there but I wanted to come back to Barbe, this is where I feel at home,” she said. “I missed my teammates and felt more comfortable playing with them again. We had some seniors like Maya Guillory and McKenzie Davis that were a big part of the team.”

The Bucs went 21-7 last year, earning the No. 7 playoff seed before being upset by Captain Shreve in the first round.

Manley says she’s working to come back better than ever.

“I’m working on being more aggressive, getting better defensively and trying to get stronger,” she said. “I feel like I have improved a lot since I got to Barbe. (Former head coach) Shemeka Fifer helped me. My offense got a lot better and I started improving defensively.”

Head coach Trey DiGiglia said Manley has all the tools to succeed.

“First she is one of the hardest workers,” he said. “She definitely has talent and has had the right people helping her. (Amateur Athletic Union coach) Terence Cahee has been a big help to her. She is coach’s me and makes it fun to be able to coach or play with.

“She’s a sweet kid; she likes to pass the ball — sometimes we have to ask her to shoot it more. She can put the ball in the hole and had great instincts for the game. She makes incredible passes, especially in the open court. She rebounds and plays defense, which makes it contagious through the team.”

Manley has committed to play at Louisiana-Monroe in college.

“They have been with me since I was in eighth grade,” she said. “They have great coaches and I already know some of the players there. I feel comfortable there and trust them. I know they will push me to do well on the court and with the books.”

Before departing, Manley says she wants to help the Bucs return to the big stage.

“I want us to get to the state tournament,” she said. “We’ve seen some teams that made it and I know we can hang with them. I know that Coach DiGiglia will have our back no matter what. He has a lot of trust in us and we have a lot of trust in him. If we keep working we can get there.”