North Carolina forward Sterling Manley posted on his Twitter account Friday that he will transfer upon his graduation this season. Manley, a 6-foot-11 Ohio native, has spent most of the past three seasons trying to rehabilitate injuries.
He marks the third frontcourt player this week to announce they will not return to UNC next season. Freshman center Walker Kessler entered the transfer portal and freshman forward Day’Ron Sharpe decided to enter his name into the NBA draft.
“My journey has been a little different, but with God, the great staff here at UNC and my awesome family, I have been able to persevere and continue to live my dream,” Manley wrote on his post. “I’ve been blessed to have four years at the University of North Carolina and it has been nothing short of amazing but with lots of prayer and the guidance of my family I’ve decided to take my talents and move elsewhere after I graduate this year.”
Manley showed promise as a freshman, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play against Bucknell. He played in all 37 games and averaged 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. But it was the only time he’d play a complete season in Chapel Hill.
Manley’s sophomore season was shortened when he missed 16 games with soreness in his right knee. He then sat out the 2019-20 season in its entirety after having surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee.
This season as a redshirt junior, Manley still wasn’t healthy enough to play until he made an appearance in the lineup at Syracuse on March 1.
He was well-liked by his teammates, who watched him work to get back on the court. It was never more evident than the regular season finale against Duke, when Manley dunked his only basket of the the season and the bench went wild.