Ryan Manning will play in his final home game Saturday with Air Force.
The forward’s status for the 2018-19 season has been in question since he took a medical turnback while recovering from a knee injury during the winter semester in 2016. In doing so, he separated from the academy and extended his time by a semester. He is scheduled to graduate in December and could have sought some way to play the entire season.
He has since decided not to try to extend his career. He'll complete his time at Air Force in the fall, but will not play basketball.
“His military career fell into place for him,” coach Dave Pilipovich said. “He’s got an assignment in L.A., which he desperately wanted. He wasn’t guaranteed to come back and get that extra eligibility, which was up in the air. If he came back and got it, he goes into the pool (for job assignments) again and then he could be moved somewhere else. That would take away what he wanted for his five years of service.”
Manning is a Sacramento native who hails from an athletic family. His father, Rich, played in the NBA and his younger brother, Matt, was a first-round draft pick in baseball who entered the 2017 as the Detroit Tigers’ top prospect according to Baseball America.
After leading Air Force in scoring during the nonconference slate, Manning’s role has dropped precipitously. He has notched double-digit minutes just twice over the past 16 games and did not appear in three contests. His reached double figures in scoring seven times before the start of Mountain West play, but has done so just once – with 11 points at UNLV – since late December.
Pilipovich said Manning will be honored with the four seniors – Trevor Lyons, C.J. Siples, Frank Toohey and Jacob Van – prior to a 2 p.m. game against San Jose State at Clune Arena on Saturday and will also be recognized with the class at the team’s banquet. Pilipovich said the five will start against the Spartans, though Siples is questionable with a sprained ankle.
The Falcons (11-18, 5-12 Mountain West) enter the game locked into the No. 9 seed for next week’s conference tournament, while San Jose State (4-24, 1-16) will be seeded 11th.