After losing import duo Anthony Tucker and Ryan Watkins to the Mono Vampire Basketball Club, the Macau Black Bears have announced their first world import signing for the upcoming ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season.

The new recruit is guard Kenny Manigault, who had spent his last two seasons playing for the Pyrinto Tampere in Finland’s Korisliiga, where he averaged 14 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.0 steals on 49 percent shooting per game.

Manigault brings to Macau a remarkable basketball resume with both ups and downs. Out of high school, the 6’5” swingman was one of the highly recognizable basketball players in South Carolina along with his cousin and AAU teammate, NBA All-Star Khris Middleton.

Given limited minutes for Wichita State as a freshman, Manigault came back to his home state to suit up for USC Aiken before transferring to University of Pikeville in junior year, where he excelled with 19.1 points a game and won the 2015 NAIA Division 1 Player of the Year award.

After college, Manigault found himself in the semi-pro State Basketball League in Australia before moving to Europe to play in the highest level in Poland, and most recently, Finland.

Player profile-wise, the 28-year-old Manigault’s outside shooting and shot creation will not particularly impress a lot of Macau fans that have been familiar with the hot hands of former MVPs Anthony Tucker and Mikhael McKinney, but his game is far from being limited.

Certain comparisons can be made between Manigault and reigning World Import MVP Xavier Alexander in terms of the versatility and potential to be the all-around leader on the floor. Like Alexander, he can run the floor, attack the basket, and draw contact while at the same time still knock down shots from mid range and occasionally from beyond the arc.

These abilities allow Manigault to be Macau’s primary ball handler and could either share the duty with, or even take over from Mikh McKinney, whose status for next season is still yet to be confirmed.

Manigault’s length and athleticism also makes him an excellent perimeter defender (led the NAIA in steals in 2015) capable of both playing and guarding multiple positions. His plays above the rim will also bring another level of excitement that has never been seen at the club.

Aside from this addition, the Bears have also announced the arrival of Macau-born American Youtuber Nelson Chan as a local player for the upcoming season. They are also the only ABL team to officially introduce new players so far.

The Macau Black Bears are expected to announce two more world imports before presumably participating in preseason tournaments ahead of their third ABL season.

Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.