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North Carolina basketball forward Brady Manek will have a shot at earning a spot in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets.
Manek has signed on to join the Hornets for summer league in Las Vegas, his agency said Friday, after he wasn’t selected Thursday night in the 2022 NBA Draft.
He becomes another Tar Heels product with the Charlotte NBA team, owned by UNC icon Michael Jordan and run by general manager Mitch Kupchak, the former North Carolina standout.
The Hornets open summer league play July 8 against the Indiana Pacers (6 p.m., ESPN). They face the Los Angeles Lakers on July 10 (9:30 p.m., NBA TV) and the Cleveland Cavaliers on July 13 (5 p.m., ESPNU), before finishing group play against the Chicago Bulls on July 14 (5 p.m., ESPN2).
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The 6-foot-9 sharpshooting Manek fielded NBA interest during the leadup to the draft. He worked out for the Atlanta Hawks, Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards, per HoopsHype.
Manek also participated in the NBA G League Elite Camp last month in Chicago.
He was a four-year starter at Oklahoma prior to becoming a one-of-a-kind find last season in Chapel Hill, a graduate transfer success story that made him an essential piece of North Carolina’s run to the Final Four and NCAA championship game.
“It’s very hard for me to imagine there’s not a place for Brady in the NBA, with his size, his ability to shoot,” Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis said last week. “He’s more than ‘he can shoot.’ He’s elite. There’s guys that’s can make shots, there’s guys that can make open shots and there’s guys that can also make contested shots, and Brady can do it all.
“Especially where the game is, and then you combine that with the character, the way that he carries himself, the type of person he is, the family that he comes from. He will be playing in the NBA next year.”
Manek topped UNC in successful 3-pointers (98), and ranked second on the team in rebounding (6.1 per game) and third in scoring (15.1 points per game). North Carolina went 25-6 in games when he scored in double figures, and 20-5 when he connected on multiple threes.
He tied Caleb Love for the team lead in scoring during the NCAA Tournament with 18.8 points per game — underlined by 28 points against Marquette, 26 against Baylor and 19 against Saint Peter’s — while shooting 54.3% from the field and 47.8% from 3-point range. Only Gonzaga star Drew Timme averaged more points through his team’s first two NCAA games than Manek.
Adam Smith is a sports reporter for the Burlington Times-News and USA TODAY Network. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @adam_smithTN on Twitter.
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This article originally appeared on Times-News: UNC basketball’s Brady Manek joins Hornets for 2022 NBA Summer League