A-Sun Insider: National Experience Helping El Manasterly Thrive at JU

A-Sun Insider: National Experience Helping El Manasterly Thrive at JU

Courtesy of Patrick Wilkins

When looking into the past of Jacksonville University sophomore forward Omar El Manasterly, one gets the sense that this young man has traveled a road unlike those of many college sophomores. 

Manasterly is an atypical college sophomore in that he was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to an Egyptian father and an American mother. He spent most of his life playing basketball and living in Egypt until his senior year of high school, when he and his family moved to back to the States and made a home in Texas in 2012.

Manasterly transferred to Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas, towards the end of his high school career, but that is not where his basketball career begins. He started playing basketball at an early age which helped lead him to his playing time with the Egyptian U16 national team. The exposure at a national level helped shape the player that he is today. 

"I think that's what helped me the most with basketball," Manasterly said. "It was all skill camps for the national team."

Not only was he able to develop his skills playing for the Egyptian national team, but he was also able to get a first-hand look at other national teams as well.

"Playing games against Germany and France allowed me to learn a lot of different styles of play," Manasterly said. 

Manasterly has been able to use these priceless experiences from his time playing at the international level to help shape the player that he is today on the campus of Jacksonville University. 

After being recruited by former assistant coach Will Jones, Manasterly made the decision to come to Jacksonville and stay at the university, even after a new coaching staff took over in April 2014. His hardnosed hustle has drawn the attention the new staff and Manasterly has been rewarded with increased playing time, becoming a regular in the rotation after appearing in only four games last season.  

"I just really liked the campus," Manasterly said. "When I came and watched the team practice, I felt really comfortable around them. They were very welcoming." Although Manasterly is relatively new and has yet to receive his scholarship, he still has high expectations for his teammates and himself.

"I want to win the A-Sun Championship," Manasterly said. "I want a ring."