After a standout high school career for G.W. Graham, Chilliwack's Lucas Mannes has had no problem making the transition to college basketball.
After just eight games for Brier-crest College, Mannes has already become a key component of one of the top basketball programs in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).
Despite not starting, Mannes has shot 46 per cent from the field and averaged 11.9 points per game, good for fifth on the team.
Head coach Rod Adrian has been impressed with the impact that the BA Humanities major has had so far this season.
"Lucas continues to shine as one of the top freshmen in the ACAC," Adrian said. "He's the first off our bench and adds a fantastic ability to score and push the pace on offence. His control of the ball and solid outside shooting are bested only by his assist to turnover ratio. These are unique skills as a freshman, and he will continue to improve as he demonstrates a quality work ethic."
Mannes's decided to attend Bri-ercrest, a Christian college, for both basketball and spiritual reasons.
"I wanted to play college basket-ball at a school that could compete for a national championship, as well as pursue God in a Godly (as opposed to a worldly) environment," said Mannes, who is joined at the school by fellow Graham basketball standout Josiah Cockrill. "Briercrest was the perfect option for these two things, and the classes that are offered were what I wanted as well."
Beyond his athletic ability, Mannes wants to let his actions speak for themselves.
"I'm a natural leader," Mannes said. "I enjoy being in a position of leadership but I am light-hearted and enjoy making fun of myself from time to time. I compete hard, and have my teammates backs until the end. I'm a good all-around player but I have a lot to work on."
Adrian has already seen growth in the Chilliwack native since he made the move over the mountains and into Caronport, Sask., this fall.
"I look forward to great things from Lucas as a player and developing leader," Adrian said. "This has also been a great experience witnessing Lucas grow spiritually. He is a pastor's kid, so he has a firm foundation, but we are seeing his faith grow and knowledge expand as a student-athlete here at Briercrest."
Mannes has really enjoyed learning from his older teammates this season.
"Every single guy is here to grow in their walk with God," the point guard said. "We're in this thing together, and our common relationships with God allow us to be tighter knit than other teams that we play. Also, the upper classmen are amazing basketball players that I can learn and grow from in my freshman year."
Mannes wants to succeed both athletically and academically while at Briercrest.
"I would like to achieve a 3.5 GPA this year," Mannes said. "My goal for this year athletically is to be the best freshman player in the ACAC."
"Long-term I want to be a lawyer, but I'd definitely like to do some missions work before I start working," he added. "If I could do one thing to make the world better it would be to preach the Word to those who haven't heard it."
Mannes credited his work ethic and attitude to his father who, "is always there for me and speaks into my life."
"My Dad gave me the best advice I have ever received," Mannes said. "He said, 'The hard working road is a lonely one.' If I could give advice to someone I would tell them to never give up on your dreams and work hard to achieve them."