Professional Basketball Player
Lawrence High School
As a basketball player at LHS, Danny helped win that State Championship his senior year.
Considered one of the greatest players in University of Kansas history, he led the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks to the National Championship against the Oklahoma Sooners. Manning left KU its men's basketball program's all-time leading scorer and rebounder after leading the Jayhawks to the 1986 Final Four and the 1988 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Championship. The 6-foot-10 forward was the all-time leading scorer in the Big Eight Conference with 2,951 career points. He won the Wooden, Naismith, and Eastman Awards as the college player of the year in 1988. In Kansas's 83-79 victory over the University of Oklahoma in the 1988 NCAA Final, Manning recorded 31 points, 18 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots.
For his seemingly single-handed performance in propelling the underdog Jayhawks to the title, as well as the Jayhawks' less-than-impressive record going into the NCAA tournament (21-11, most losses of any NCAA champion), the 1988 Kansas team was nicknamed "Danny and the Miracles" and Manning was honored as Most Outstanding Player in the tournament. A two-time All-American while at KU, Manning was later named the Big Eight Player of the Decade.
Manning was selected to the last all-amateur USA national basketball team in 1988, which competed at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The team won the bronze medal, but was viewed as a disappointment, as they had been heavy favorites to win the gold until their loss to the Soviet Union in a semi-final game. Manning failed to score even a single point in that game, and afterward called it "one of the biggest disappointments of my life."
Manning was drafted with the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1988 NBA Draft and spent more than a decade in the league. During his NBA Career, Manning scored 12,367 points and averaged 14.0 points per game. He played only 26 games as a rookie after a tom anterior cruciate ligament required him to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery but returned for the 1989-1990 season. His most productive NBA season was 1992-1993, when he averaged
22.8 points a game and was selected to play in the All-Star Game. He was also selected as an All-Star the following season.
Continuing knee problems-forced Manning to become a part-time player in 1996 after he had undergone two more surgeries. He won the 1997-1998 Sixth Man Award as the best reserve player in the NBA, averaging 13.5 points while playing about 26 minutes a game. At the time Manning held the distinction of being the first NBA player to have returned to play after reconstructive surgeries on both knees (a feat since duplicated by Kenyon Martin and Amar'e Stoudemire). Manning was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1999 but played for different teams during each of his final four seasons in the league.
He announced his retirement from professional basketball in 2003 and served for four years at the University of Kansas as director of student-athlete development and team manager under KU basketball coach Bill Self. Manning was promoted to Assistant Coach at the end of the 2006-07 season as a replacement for Tim Jankovich who left the Kansas staff to take the position of Head Coach at Illinois State University. Manning has become a key component of the Jayhawks coaching staff, filling vital roles in both recruiting and his work training the team's big men.
In April of 2012, Manning was named Head Basketball Coach for the University of Tulsa.