Orange Lutheran senior David Manea first started playing pickup hoops at lunchtime when he was in the third grade. When Manea entered middle school, he began to take basketball seriously, and it quickly became his sport.
“It's just the competitive nature,” says Manea of basketball. “You can never let your guard down, because every day you're not working to get better, someone else is trying to come for your spot. So it keeps me busy and doing what I love to do.”
A transfer to OLu as a sophomore, Manea serves as a captain and has big goals for this season, including playing a key role in leadership and scoring. Being vocal, leading by example and staying accountable are reflective of the power forward’s leadership style.
“I want to be that vocal leader, making sure everyone's talking and getting involved,” says Manea. “I always want to keep my teammates accountable. And I also always want to be someone they can come talk to if they have an issue with something off the court or on the court.”
The Lancers currently sit tied for second place in Trinity League with wins over both Mater Dei (second time in program history) and Santa Margarita. OLu also holds the No. 3 spot this week in OC Varsity’s Top 25 rankings, and Manea has been a significant factor in the team’s success this season.
“David has been a huge contributor to building a strong culture since his sophomore year,” says OLu boys basketball head coach Daniel Dunbar. “He has jumped into a captain and leadership role as a senior and is a great example of what it means to be an OLu boys varsity player on and off the floor.”
Manea has dealt with his share of injuries over his playing career, but his strong support system of family members and coaches have always helped push him back to the top of his game. Work ethic and teamwork have been at the forefront of life lessons gained from his time on the court.
“You can never you can never take a day off, and you can never let yourself fall behind, and I think that applies in real life as well,” says Manea. “And being able to work with others, you can't do everything yourself. Whether that's for your job or personal life or basketball, you always need to have others around you.”
Manea is looking to play basketball at a NCAA Division 1 college program alongside studying business. The 18-year old considers his father to be one of his strongest role models, and he is grateful for all his dad does to provide for their family.
With all the challenges that come with being a student athlete, Manea leans on his faith in times of stress with the knowledge that God has a plan for his life.
“Playing sports, as well as balancing high school, is very stressful,” says Manea. “So a lot of times if I lose my confidence, or if I'm getting a little worried about how I'm performing, I know that God's got me. Any problems I have, I just take it to him.”