Baboquivari hoops coach goes for win 300by Andy Morales on Jan. 27, 2013, under Sports
Baboquivari boys basketball coach Gary Manuel left the Santa Rosa Village of the Tohono O’odham Nation as a young man and headed up to Tempe for high school. Now, some 27 years after returning to his home, he is in the top 12 in wins among current coaches.
Manuel is sitting at 299 wins in his 23 years at the helm of the Warriors. In that period, he has taken his team to the final four twice.
“The first time we went the local community went pretty wild,” explained Manuel. “It was pretty gigantic and a documentary was done on us because we only had six players on the team.”
One of those players was his son Justin who finished his career with an unrecognized 3,000 plus points at Baboquivari. Justin went on to play for Central Arizona.
“I think a unique factor is that I came home to teach and coach with my people,” added Manuel. “But the biggest part of this would have to be my players. All of my wins have been on their shoulders. I cannot forget about them.”
Baboquivari will host Immaculate Heart on Monday at home for a shot at his 300th victory. Baboquivari in located in Sells.