By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
Kyle Mann’s hard work on the basketball court and in the classroom paid off handsomely on Monday (May 12).
The Southside High senior signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Division III Centre College in Danville, Ky.
The Panthers’ starting point guard since his freshman year, Mann last season averaged 9.0 points, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals while helping Southside make it to the subregional round of the Class 5A state playoffs. He shot 84 percent at the free throw line and 43 percent from three-point range.
“Since I was about a freshman, I realized that I might have chance (to play college basketball),” said Mann. “So I really worked hard and today the dream finally came true. I played on some really good teams the past few years, and I think we’ve helped set a really high standard for Southside basketball. I looked for [colleges] that were a great fit for me both academically and athletically, and I felt that Centre was a great fit for me as a player and as a student.
“I just want to say thanks to my family, my friends and especially all of my teammates, because without them I wouldn’t be playing college basketball,” said Mann. “I also want to thank Coach Holderfield for helping me grow both as a player and a person.”
Mann joins a Colonel squad that last season went 24-5, won the Southern Athletic Association Tournament title and received a bid to the D-III NCAA Tournament.
“I love to win, but when I got the job as basketball coach last year, I really wanted our program to be about more winning and losing ballgames,” said SHS boys basketball coach Chad Holderfield. “I wanted us to establish something that would be meaningful in a lot of different areas, such as how the kids conducted themselves on and off the court, and there’s no better example of that then Kyle.
“Never in my life have I been around a kid more that has a greater desire to succeed. He gives everything he’s got in everything he does. His level of commitment is amazing, both in basketball and in the classroom.
“Kyle is just one of those kids who impacts everyone around him. He’s the kind of kid that you want your younger players to look up to and learn from. Kyle has had positive impact on every aspect of our program. We’re so happy for him to have this opportunity to receive a great education as well as play basketball.”