Trevor Manuel’s decision was delayed when Carlton Valentine decided to return to coach boys basketball at Sexton on July 31.
But the senior-to-be wound up sticking with the decision that he had nearly finalized by then to play alongside his cousins and attend Everett High.
The 6-foot-9, 200-pound center has scholarship offers from Michigan State, Michigan, Florida State, Oregon, Providence, Wake Forest, Xavier and Eastern Michigan.
Based on where he lives, Manuel says he could have chosen to attend Lansing Eastern, Sexton or Everett.
“It really came down to having family that played on Everett’s team,” he said. “Diego Robinson, who is a sophomore, and the Hudson twins (Devon and Dequan) — who are going to be seniors — are cousins on my dad’s side.”
Manuel’s father also played at Everett with 1983 McDonald’s All-American Kevin Smith.
“My dad was on the team that almost won a state championship,” he said. “I wanted to pick it up where he left off.”
Manuel helped Sexton to the second of back-to-back Class B state titles in 2011-12. He was a tall, skinny freshman on a team that included future MSU players Denel Valentine and Bryn Forbes along with future Iowa player Anthony Clemmons and Oakland player Jalen Hayes. He and Hayes also reached a regional final under Carlton Valentine in 2012-13 before Manuel chose to play last year at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
“I was really thinking about going back (to Sexton), but I knew being with my family was going to be best for me,” he said.
Manuel believes the experience — besides the extra weight and strength he gained while playing at Oak Hill — will help him.
“When you’re playing with All-Americans every day in practice, I learned how to give it my all and play with the same intensity every night,” he said.