Friends, family, and even Brady Manek’s former coaches traveled to New Orleans for the NCAA title game, but while it may not have ended in favor of UNC, it allowed the town of Harrah to celebrate their basketball star.
From the signs in front of businesses to his jerseys hanging in the pizzeria, and the school wearing their UNC blue, it was indeed a Manek Monday.
“For me, it felt like he was going to play in the national championship,” said Char Rochelle, Harrah’s men’s basketball coach.
Brady’s former basketball coach, mentor and friend was in New Orleans watching his former player on college basketball’s most important stage.
“Watching someone I coached at the high school level and the intensity of the game, what he did there was incredible,” Rochelle said.
The coach spoke with Brady last night, and it was emotional, but he said it was more of a party on his mind, seeing a kid he coached in high school go all the way.
“He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached, and there’s a reason he was there last night. He worked hard,” Rochelle said.
He put in the work and invested himself in relationships from his Harrah roots.
“Before he left for UNC, he came over to my house and had dinner. He faced my kids on Friday night,” Rochelle said.
Manek took to Twitter Monday night to say he got to experience some of the greatest moments a basketball player could ask for, and he’s grateful for his time as a Tar Heel.