Jackie Manuel is a 6'5" shooting guard who is known for his defense and hustle. He graduated from Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida where he won 2 state championships. He went on to attend college at the University of North Carolina. He played in 89 career games at UNC and made 48 starts, most at the off-guard position. He averaged 6.5 points per game but developed into one of the finest defensive players in the country during his college career. He took 1,000 shots a day in the offseason to try to improve his shooting. He emerged as a fan favorite at the Smith Center because of his great attitude, hustle and defensive presence. He became the second Tar Heel to earn All-ACC Defensive Team honors. Manuel was a key member and one of three captains of the UNC's 2005 National Championship team. He had his own fan section at North Carolina and Jackie Manuel has a Posse tee shirts gained cult status and are still proudly worn there.
Manuel went undrafted and was signed Fayetteville Patriots of the NBDL in 2005 (the same team that Gerald Green played with). He didn't play with the Patriots, though, due to injury. In 2006 he was selected by the LA D-Fenders in the NBDL where he averaged 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.09 steals per game in just over 28 minutes per game. According to Draft Express, his strengths are
An outstanding athlete who can jump with the best of them. Has great instincts on the defense end, terrific lateral movement and can guard the 1-3 positions. Has a good wingspan; blocks shots, gets in the passing lanes and can provide a good sparkplug off the bench if needed. High character player who will do whatever is asked of him. Has 4 years of experience playing at the highest level NCAA basketball has to offer. Has been asked to guard all the best perimeter players in the ACC over his collegiate career. Very competitive player, attacks the rim and does a great job on the glass because of his tenacity, wingspan and athletic ability. Not afraid to sacrafice his body to come up with the charge
In the 2006-07 season, he played in 4 preseason games for the Orlando Magic. He averaged 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, .5 assists and 1.2 steals in 17.8 minutes per game. In this year's NBDL draft, Manuel was drafted with the 5th overall pick by the Iowa Energy.
“We got two of the best defenders that were available at the guard position and we fell really good about it,” said Nick Nurse, the Energy’s coach. “I am very pleased with the first choices.”
His contract with the Celtics is not guaranteed and with the signing of Batista, and Jones, I believe that Manuel's days as a Celtic are numbered. He will provide good defense in practice during training camp, but he will more than likely be playing for the Iowa Energy this season after an all expenses paid trip to Europe. Not a bad way to start the season.