Long Island Lutheran Woos Bridgie Star

Charles Manning won’t be playing in Bridgehampton this winter
Charles Manning told his coach, Carl Johnson, he would “always be a Killer Bee.” Craig Macnaughton

Charles Manning, who led the Killer Bees to a state boys basketball championship last season, won’t be playing in Bridgehampton this winter given the fact that, having passed an entrance examination this past week, he’ll be at Long Island Lutheran.

Carl Johnson, Bridgehampton’s coach, said he couldn’t help but be disappointed that his star, now a senior, is leaving, “but it’s a good move for him — he wants to play Division 1 college ball. I’m happy for him, I’m hoping he’ll make it.”

Manning was New York State’s Class D player of the year this past season and was the most valuable player in the state’s Class D tournament.

“He’s also shown that he’s one of the best players on Long Island, and I assume that’s why Long Island Lutheran, which lost six of its top seven, came after him,” said Johnson, who added that “Long Island Lutheran [which is in Brookville, and which is ranked eighth among the state’s AA schools] is always a powerhouse.”

It wasn’t the end of the world insofar as the Killer Bees’ chances of repeating as state champs went, the coach said, in reply to a question. “We won the summer league at Southampton without Charles or Tylik [Furman, the team’s point guard], which I think was pretty good. We beat Southampton, which is a B team. So, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Some of our kids will have to step up. Josh will have to average over 20 points a game, and Tylik, in addition to running the offense, will have to shoot more. . . . We’ll be fine. We’re definitely looking to return to Glens Falls. . . . Without Charles we won’t beat the A teams, but we’ll be competitive with the Bs, Cs, and Ds.”

Asked if he’d spoken to Manning recently, Johnson said, “Yes, he said, ‘Thank you for everything, coach.’ It wasn’t an easy decision for him — he was torn. It was just in the past couple of weeks that Long Island Lutheran, which had spots open, came after him.”

“He gave me one great year. I told him, ‘You have to do what you think is best for you.’”

“He said, ‘I’ll always be a Killer Bee.’ ”