LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (BVM) — The Siena Saints men’s basketball team got some good news heading into their upcoming season with a key member of their 2019-20 campaign returning for his senior year. Manny Camper declared as an early entrant for the 2020 NBA Draft back on April 3 before withdrawing his name July 29.
Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello is excited to get Camper back on the floor for his senior season.
“Manny is a special person, and we’re excited to have him back,” Maciariello told Siena Athletics. “He is a leader, and we look forward to helping him take the next step in his development.”
Camper helped lead Siena to a 20-10 record in his junior year, while averaging 13.7 points per game and 10.4 rebounds. The Saints’ third leading scorer last season was one of 29 Division I players to average a double-double throughout the season.
With the delay to the NBA season and offseason, along with a shortened college season, NBA hopefuls with remaining eligibility have had to look at the draft a little differently this year. The restrictions on travel and facility work have rendered draft prospects unable to workout and perform in-person meetings with NBA teams.
Camper shared some insight into his time during the NBA draft process and how things changed during the pandemic.
“Despite not being able to take as much advantage of the process as I had hoped to because of the coronavirus, it was still a great experience,” Camper told Siena Athletics. “Even though I couldn’t do a ton, it was still great to be able to get a little feedback from the NBA on what I need to work on and also what I do well that I can continue to improve on.”
The deadline for players to withdraw from the draft was pushed back from the original date of June 15 to Aug. 3.
— Martinez 3️⃣✨ (@_BigshotManny_) July 29, 2020
Siena will look to build off their 2019 season which saw the Saints atop the MAAC. It was the Saints best season since 2009 and their first MAAC championship in a decade. With the COVID-19 pandemic cutting the season short, the Saints lost their chance at a trip to the NCAA Tournament after closing out their season on a 10-game winning streak.
Siena will bring back three key starters with Camper’s return to the squad. After losing Elijah Burns to graduation, the Saints will still return leading scorer and MAAC Player of the Year, Jalen Pickett.
Camper will look to play an even bigger role this season for the Saints as they welcome nine new players to the roster.
“Right now, I’m just continuing to work hard so hopefully we can go back-to-back next year,” Camper said. “We’ve got some good talent coming in, and I feel like we can do the same thing next year and that it can be a very special year.”