'Giant' leap for Coast boy


Former Greymouth teenager Nathen Manuel in his rookie Nelson
Giants basketball uniform, after gaining selection to the extended training squad for the national basketball league team.
Basketball Nelson chief executive Chris Varcoe said Manuel, who has just turned 17, was unlikely to play for the Giants this season, but he would get the opportunity to sit on the bench at home games.
Manuel began playing basketball for a St Patrick’s Primary School miniball team.
After that he represented Greymouth High School at the South Island Secondary Schools Tournament and wore West Coast colours as an under-13 and under-15 representative player. He moved to Nelson about three years ago.
Last year he played at the under-17 level for Tasman, where he was joined by three other West Coast players — Jared Hibbs, Euan Barrow and Reid Gibbens.
Varcoe said Manuel had been developing well since moving to Nelson.
“He didn’t reach his potential last year following an injury, but has been training hard in the off-season to gain selection to the extended Giants training squad.”