Jahenns Manigat’s first impression on his basketball recruiting trip to Creighton hardly had him fired up about spending the next four years of his life in Omaha.
Manigat grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, the fourth-largest city in Canada with a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million.
“When I saw that little airport that we were flying into, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into,’’ Manigat said. “But after I saw campus and a little more of Omaha, it put me at ease. I started feeling that I could be comfortable there.’’
Manigat was comfortable enough that on Monday he changed an earlier oral commitment to Canisius and informed Creighton’s coaches that he intended to become a Bluejay. The 6-foot-2, 160-pound guard said Monday night that he intends to sign a letter of intent later this week and will arrive on campus in June.
“I want to get adjusted to the college lifestyle,’’ he said, “so that I can step in and do what they want me to.’’
Manigat (whose name is pronounced JAW-hands MAN-i-gay) said the Creighton coaches told him on his recruiting trip that they want him to contend for playing time at point guard. The Bluejays return starter Antoine Young at the point but saw backups Cavel Witter use up his eligibility and Andrew Bock transfer.
“They want me to play point guard and become a leader as quickly as I can,’’ he said. “I’ve been playing the point guard for most of my playing days, so this isn’t going to be a change for me. Obviously, when you’re playing at a higher level, there are some things you have to tweak in your game.
“But I’m comfortable with whatever they want me to do.’’
HoopStars Canada lists Manigat as the No. 3 shooting guard prospect in the country, and he said his shooting ability is probably the strength of his game.
“There’s not a shot that I’m scared to take,’’ he said. “I feel I have a knack for shooting the ball, and my range is beyond the 3-point line. I’m confident in my shot, but right now, I need to learn what shots to take and when to take them.’’
Manigat played this past season for the Regional Elite Development Academy, which he said was comparable to a prep school in the United States. Manigat said his school, located in Hamilton, Ontario, played about 30 games, many in prep school showcase tournaments in the U.S.
Manigat originally committed to Canisius, a Division I school with an enrollment of about 3,500 located in Buffalo, N.Y.
“I gave them a verbal because I really thought that was going to be it for me in regard to recruiting,’’ he said. “I didn’t intend to go to any other schools because the signing period was coming up.
“But when another opportunity came up, I decided to take a look at Creighton. I just felt comfortable there, and that’s why I decided to change my mind.’’
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