Manny Camper announces the end of his basketball career in Siena and will declare for the NBA draft

After the disappointment of an earlier than expected exit from the Metropolitan Atlantic Conference tournament, Siena senior guard/forward Manny Camper took a few days to consider his future.

He spoke with his family and came to the same decision over the weekend that head coach Carmen Maciariello had been waiting for some time.

Camper, the MAAC Player of the Year, is done with college basketball and declares himself for the NBA draft.

He made the announcement on Tuesday, a day after meeting Maciariello.

“I just felt like I had a good four years here,” Camper said in a phone interview. “It didn’t end the way we wanted and we ended up in the dance (the NCAA tournament), but I was able to accomplish a lot here. Last year, being MAAC’s first team and developing that and becoming player of the year this year and the regular season championships the last two years. I just feel like I’ve accomplished a lot here. More importantly, I’m healthy, that is therefore the perfect time to try to accomplish my dreams and goals.

The 6-foot-7, 216-pound camper said he is signing with an agent, whose name he is expected to announce in the coming days.

Camper had the option of returning to Siena using the additional year of eligibility given to athletes by the NCAA due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said he also plans to move to a bigger conference as a graduate transfer and play immediately next season.

But Camper said receiving her bachelor’s degree in marketing this spring was very important, especially for her mother, Kita.

“My goal is to start my career professionally,” Camper said.

He said there was a slight temptation to try to come back to win a MAAC tournament title. The Saints weren’t so lucky last year when the MAAC tournament was canceled and lost as the top seed to Iona in the quarterfinals last Wednesday.

“It was a thought in my mind,” Camper said. “Certainly as a competitor you want to come back, especially going out like we did, going on the first lap. It’s tough. It’s tough trying to recover. At the end of the day, like I I said it, we Sienna and I I myself have accomplished a lot during my time here I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied, but I’m going to take it to the next level in these workouts I’m going to use as fuel.

Camper tested the waters of the NBA Draft a year ago but never had a chance to practice for teams because of the pandemic before retiring his name.

“I think there will be training sessions, fewer people at each training session,” Camper said. “My goal is to get invited and to continue to stay disciplined and work hard, and I think the results will show in those practices.”

Maciariello said he expected Camper not to return for a year.

“He played four years in college basketball and he’ll probably get over 3.0 (grade point average),” Maciariello said. “Every year he got better and he didn’t have to stay in college to pursue his dream. I can’t wait for him to do that. I’m thrilled for Manny and proud to have been his coach ( in chief) for two years.”

When Maciariello arrived as an assistant from Siena in 2018 under Jamion Christian, Camper was a sophomore coming off an injury-hindered freshman year. He had no other offers coming out of high school in Chestertown, Maryland. Under Maciariello he became a dominant player as Siena’s “power guard”.

He averaged 13.7 points and 10.4 rebounds as a junior and 14.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists as a senior.

Now he will attempt to become the second Siena player to appear in a regular season NBA game, joining Edwin Ubiles.

“I hope he does,” Maciariello said. “I want him to chase his dream, just like he set out to be the best player at MAAC. And he’s proven he can do it, so why can’t he?”

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