Oklahoma has signed two basketball recruits, Brady Manek of Harrah High School and Hannes Polla Lahti, Finland (Helsinki Basketball Academy).
Both are expected to join the OU program as freshmen next season.
Manek (6-9, 215) is ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN and Scout.com, Manek averaged 18.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocks per game in 2015-16. The Oklahoman named him its Little All-City Player of the Year and listed him on its All-State Second Team.
Manek is listed as both a top-15 (Scout.com) and top-30 (ESPN.com) power forward in the 2017 class.
“Brady is a terrific young guy who has wanted to be a Sooner for a while,” said OU coach Lon Kruger. “He’s an outstanding shooter, has an outstanding instinct for the game and is a great teammate. We’re really excited about welcoming him to OU.”
Harrah High School Head Coach Chad Rochelle agrees.
“We are excited about all the things Brady brings to the table – his skills, experience and toughness,” said Rochelle. “Most importantly, he is a great person and teammate who shows up every day with a passion for the game and his team.”
From the Helsinki Basketball Academy in Finland, Polla will bring size and a strong post game to Oklahoma. At 6-11, Polla will be the second-tallest player on a Sooner roster during the Kruger era and just the second European player (Amath M’Baye from France is the other) to play for Kruger at OU.
Polla brings plenty of international experience to Norman, having competed for both the U16 and U18 Finnish National Teams. During the 2016 U18 Nordic Championship, he averaged 7.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. Through seven games this season with HBA, Polla is averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.7 blocks in 22.6 minutes.
Polla’s assistant coach at HBA, Hanno Möttölä, played two seasons in the NBA under Kruger with the Atlanta Hawks.
“Hannes is another player we’re excited about becoming a Sooner, Kruger said. “Hannes has a big basketball frame that we haven’t really had before while I’ve been at Oklahoma. He’s physical in the low post and adds that low post presence. He is also very excited to become a Sooner.”
Helsinki Basketball Academy Head Coach Antti Koskelainen praised Polla.
“Hannes is very fortunate to be able join a great tradition with the Oklahoma Sooners basketball program,” Koskelainen said. “We have great respect for Coach Kruger and his staff and I believe Coach Kruger will do a great job with him. Becoming a Sooner will be the best thing for Hannes’s future as a basketball player.“
Helsinki Basketball Academy Assistant Coach Hanno Möttölä said, ”I am very happy for Hannes for choosing to attend The University of Oklahoma and playing for Lon Kruger. I was fortunate to play for Coach Kruger with the Atlanta Hawks for two years and I know what a great coach and a person he is and the kind of values he represents and wants his players to do the same. Coach will have a huge impact on Hannes, not only as a basketball player but in life overall. I believe Sooner fans will love Hannes’ passion for the game and his teammates will value his great work ethic and team-first attitude.”