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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Illinois' Maniscalco signs with agent

By Scott Powers

Illinois senior point guard Sam Maniscalco has signed with an agent and is preparing for the next chapter in his player career.

Maniscalco said Saturday he has signed with BDA Sports agent Kevin Bradbury. Maniscalco played his senior season for the Illini and spent his first four years at Bradley.

“It’s exciting,” Maniscalco said. “It’s been a long haul, five years in college. I had a great time. I enjoyed all my experiences. It’s the real world now. It’s time to take the next step and see what’s happens and see what the next journey has in store for me. I obviously would like to play basketball as long as I can. That’s my goal. I would like to make a living doing it.”

Maniscalco has had a bumpy ride his last few years. He played through a left ankle injury during his junior season at Bradley. He had his ankle scoped in the summer of 2010, opted to medically redshirt his senior season and then had a bone spur shaved off and a piece of cartilage removed in December of 2010.

Maniscalco transferred to Illinois for his final college season. He had an up-and-down season while he continued to deal with ankle issues. He played in 28 games, starting 13, and averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 assists in 24.2 minutes.

“Obviously, the season didn’t finish like everybody wanted,” Maniscalco said. “I enjoyed my experiences. I had the privilege and honor of putting on an Illinois basketball uniform. I’m grateful for that. I don’t regret any of it.

“I know I can be the same player. "We’ve had multiple doctors show us images where the problem wasn't that my ankle wasn’t healed. It was healed throughout the season. There were just lingering scar tissue issues. There wasn’t much I could do with the constant pounding and grind of the college basketball season. I should be ready to go.”

Maniscalco said he’s currently resting and rehabbing his ankle and will resume working out in the coming weeks. He hopes to sign with an team overseas sometime this summer. He also plans to receive citizenship in Italy.