Hi, my name is Philippe Manga. I attend school at Nickerson High School and will graduate May 21’. I am originally from the country of Cameroon in Africa. My family back home lives in Yaounde', which is the Capital City of Cameroon. I was recruited to come to the United States to play basketball for Next Level Academy. I was extremely fortunate to get out of the country on an F-1 visa. Unfortunately, basketball for Next Level did not work out, and I was taken in by the Hammersmith family in Hutchinson. They have become my family and have helped me with everything financial. When I arrived in the US, as a 15-year-old, I had no money and no place to go, they have taken care of me providing a place to live, food and clothes for the last 5 years. College is a much bigger expense, than high school, and I am going to need scholarship money to attend a higher level of education. When I arrived in the US, the plan was to attend Trinity Catholic High School in which I was enrolled, and I was introduced to my dad the principal of the school Mr. Hammersmith. At that time, he was the principal/ basketball coach, and as one opportunity was taken from me, he offered another opportunity to stay with his family, and play at Trinity Catholic. Things were not always easy, I had to adjust to learning everything in English, play Basketball in a much more organized way, and learn an entirely different culture setting. Through these struggles, I have grown emotionally and am still maturing into the man I hope to be. While at Trinity I pursued many different opportunities with sports, I played Basketball for 3 years, Track for 2 years and Cross Country for 1 year. My Sophomore year I was able to play in the State Basketball Tournament, where our team took 2nd. The year I ran Cross Country we also went to state. In track, I ran at the state track meet as a Freshman in the 4x400, and a Sophomore I competed in the 100 and 200, and was on the 4x400 relay, as a Junior Spring sports were canceled. I transferred to Nickerson, as my Dad was no longer the Principal / Coach at Trinity and we moved into the Nickerson School District where I graduated in 21'. Nickerson High School is where I played football for the first time ever and fell in love with the game. My coaches really helped develop my raw skills over the summer, working every day on conditioning and skills. I thought to myself that I wanted to play this sport at the next level and get an opportunity for an education so that I will be able to obtain a good paying job. My ultimate goal is to immigrate permanently to the US; therefore, I would have the means to help my family financially. Even though my team did not win a single game my senior season, I still had a lot of fun running the ball and learning this position. I also started on the defense, and all special teams. Post season honors included league honorable mention for DB.
Following my senior year of high school I was able to walk-on at Hutchinson Community College in football. I red-shirted in 21-22' school year and gained an enormous amount of knowledge in the game of football. I was moved to Defense and I am a Corner. As a red-shirt Freshman, I am now playing on the currently ranked #1 NJCAA team in the Nation. I play against D1 athletes everyday in practice, I see action every week on Kick-off and I’m committed to working hard, and continuing to gain knowledge and skill in this very competitive sport. I look forward to becoming an asset to a program if given the opportunity to have an athletic scholarship.