Pickerington native Sterling Manley played in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with the UNC Tar Heels.
NBC4’S Audrey Hasson met up with the Manley family at their home in Pickerington to talk about their heading to Kansas City to support their son and the Tar Heels as they faced Auburn Friday.
Sterling’s mother Kim said her son received 26 different offers to play collegiate basketball, but after their family visited The University of North Carolina, she and her husband, Eric, could tell a difference in Sterling.
“He came to our room and he said without a shadow of a doubt, he says, ‘I know I want to be at North Carolina,’ and I was like are you sure? But I was like it’s so far, are you sure?! And he was like ‘yes mom, that’s where I want to be,’’
said Kim Manley.
During his freshman year, the Manley family made the 8-hour drive to UNC often.
“We were so excited just like a kid in a candy store with little fuzzies in your stomach, and you’re just like OH MY GOSH we’re really here, we’re really here,” Kim added.
Even though Sterling’s battled a knee injury during his sophomore year this season, Kim and Eric still try and make as many games as possible.
“Even if they’re sitting on the bench, you just want to be there to support them because what it does is that it shows them when they have a family, on how to do the same thing, whether they’re playing…and it’s a team thing,” said Eric
North Carolina won both of its first round games of the tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, and the Manley family felt the support from their hometown.
“We had great support from Pickerington, I mean the phone was blowing up, everyone was wanting tickets here and some of them I was like, hub stub, haha, but it was just a blessing have that support,” said Eric.