When Maddie Manning walks across the court to be inducted into the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night, the former Ankeny star will likely have some mixed emotions.
Manning played in four state tournaments for the Hawkettes, but never came away from Wells Fargo Arena with the ultimate prize–a state championship. Her Ankeny teams suffered three consecutive heartbreaking losses in the quarterfinals before advancing to the title game in her senior year, when the Hawkettes lost to Iowa City West in overtime.
“Those losses still haunt me,” said Manning. “I still think about those games. I could go back and tell you everything that happened in those games. But now that I’m a little more removed from it, I can appreciate how special those moments were. Not everybody gets to go to the state tournament.”
Manning starred at Ankeny under coach Scott DeJong from 2008-12. She was a two-time first-team all-state performer and was named the Iowa Gatorade player of the year in 2012, when she averaged 16.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
As a senior, Manning was named the captain of the all-tournament team after averaging 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while leading the Hawkettes to a runner-up finish. She had 24 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the loss to Iowa City West.
“It was never about me,” Manning said of her love for the game. “I would trade that medal for a state championship if I could.”
Manning was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot by the IGHSAU committee. She will be enshrined along with former Bedford star Connie Shafar and ex-Marion standout Morgan Paige during halftime of the Class 2A championship game.
Manning was shocked when she heard the news that she was being inducted.
“I don’t know that I ever truly really thought about it,” she said. “It’s very humbling, honestly.”
Manning went on to play for Oklahoma, where she overcame two season-ending knee injuries to play in four NCAA Tournaments. She twice earned honorable mention all-Big 12 honors and was a four-time Academic all-Big 12 selection.
Manning, who scored more than 1,000 career points for the Sooners, has played professionally overseas for the last two years.
“I’m not retired yet,” she said. “I’m thinking about it, but I’m not retired. So I really haven’t had time to reflect on my career.”
Manning played one season in Switzerland before joining a team in Spain. However, her second season was cut short due to the coronavirus.
“I actually had to come home because of visa issues,” she said. “The way things are over there, I don’t know if I’ll be going back.”
Manning said she isn’t sure if she’ll continue playing. Her long collegiate career, which spanned six years, took a toll on her body.
“I’m starting to put some things together, trying to figure out what life after basketball will be like,” Manning said. “I’m in kind of a transitional period right now.”
Manning has always had a desire to become a coach. She thinks she would eventually like to coach on the collegiate level.
“I definitely want to stay around the game,” she said. “I want to take the experiences that I’ve had and pass them onto others.”