Oklahoma basketball: Brady Manek is Jim Thorpe Athlete of the Year

Oklahoma basketball senior Brady Manek is the Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Athlete of the Year.

The award was determined by the executive committee of the Oklahoma Amateur Athletic Union, which considers amateur athletes with Oklahoma ties to any sport.

Manek has been a main contributor to Sooners’ men’s basketball for the past three seasons, starting in 91 of the last 97 games and averaging 12.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and nearly two three-pointers per game.

The senior from nearby Harrah, Oklahoma, about an hour’s drive from the Norman campus, was the Sooners’ second leading scorer a year ago, averaging 14.4 points and 45 percent from three-point range.

Manek had three games last season in which he scored 25 or more points and reached double figures in 25 of 31 games.

“We’re so happy for Brady,” said head coach Lon Kruger in a press release posted on the OU athletic website. “Can’t imagine anyone more deserving. He’s had a terrific career at OU while always displaying strong integrity and character.”

Entering his senior season, the Oklahoma native ranks 31st in OU career scoring with 1,188 points. He is the only player in Oklahoma men’s basketball history to score at least 1,000 points, collect 500 rebounds, make 150 three-pointers and deliver 75 assists.

Previous OU athletes to be honored as Jim Thorpe Oklahoma Athlete of the Year include Sam Bradford, Baker Mayfield, Gerald McCoy and Jason White.

Jim Thorpe was perhaps the greatest Native American athlete in U.S. history. He was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma and was the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal. He was a two-time  All-American in football at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.