Archive for Tuesday, July 25, 1995

MANNING TALKS TO CAMPERS

July 25, 1995

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In past years, Danny Manning picked up a basketball and demonstrated his skills to youths at Roy Williams' Kansas basketball camp.

Still rehabilitating from left knee surgery, Manning was relegated to guest-speaker status on Monday, fielding questions from Williams' 500-plus campers in town for the second of three week-long summer sessions.

"I'm an old man. I'm 29 and I've got two bad knees," Manning quipped.

The ex-Kansas All American, who tore his left anterior cruciate ligament after colliding with Phoenix Suns teammate Joe Kleine last February, ripped his right ACL in January of '89 with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Manning doesn't know when he'll be back on the court, but when he does return, he plans a lengthy stay.

"Seven years ago, I had surgery on my right leg after I blew it out. Hopefully I'll come back and play another six to seven years, then retire," he said.

Manning has given some thought to what he might do when he quits playing.

"I do think about coaching, but right now it's something I don't think too much about," he said. "I have my own camp and I enjoy working with kids."

Also, "I'd like to start a couple businesses. I'm looking at possibly starting some recreation centers across parts of the country. I want to do something I'll get excited about, something to get moved by. I want to do something where I get up in the morning and want to go to work."

Manning, whose one-year contract has expired, is anxious to sign with Phoenix again. However, the NBA players are currently locked out, meaning no contract offers can be tendered to players.

"The lockout is disheartening," Manning said. "The players and owners need to get together to solve the dispute."

Here is a sampling of Manning's 30-minute question/answer session with Williams' campers.

Q -- Did you enjoy playing for Larry Brown (at both Kansas and with the Clippers)?

A -- "It's fun...if we win," Manning said. "Coach Brown and I had our differences, but one thing coach Brown does -- he makes you a better person and player."

Q -- What do you remember most about your playing days at Kansas?

A -- "I had a good time at KU. I graduated and we were fortunate enough to win a championship (in 1988). I have nice recollections about KU."

Q -- Who were your role models growing up?

A -- "My father (Ed). He played pro ball and was what is called a 'journeyman.' He ran the floor, got the loose balls, set picks. I respect that. Also I liked Julius Erving. He's a great player and person."

Q -- Who is the best player you have guarded?

A -- "Magic Johnson without a doubt. I came in the league in '88 and it was 'Showtime' with the Lakers. Magic could score, pass, do it all. He was somebody I admired. To see somebody that tall dribble the ball, it gave me inspiration."

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