By Ron Holt
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Professionally, Bryndon Manzer works as an investment adviser, dealing in the stock market.
But, his hobby has allowed the former Stillwater Pioneer and Oklahoma State standout basketball player to remain involved in the sport he enjoys while being paid.
Manzer, who lives in Edmond, spent last week at the Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament in Kansas City. He served as one of the Big 12 Network’s television analysts for the tournament, handling pre-game, halftime and post-game assignments.
This opportunity is ideal for someone who played and coached the game.
Manzer, the son of Lee and Saundra Manzer, was an outstanding shooting guard at SHS where he graduated in 1990. He played for Coach Jerry Havens on the 1989 SHS team that was a state qualifier. Manzer, however, suffered a season-ending knee injury a couple of games before state.
He played two years at St. Gregory’s Junior College under legendary coach Don Sumner before transferring to Oklahoma State to play for Hall of Famer Eddie Sutton.
After serving as the women’s coach, men’s coach and athletic director at St. Gregory’s, Manzer moved into his current profession in 2002.
“When I left St. Gregory’s I started doing games for OSU when Coach Sutton was there. I started with the 2004 team that went to the Final Four,” said Manzer, who also called Cox high school games of the week.
“Then out of the blue I get a call from ESPN, asking about doing some games. They needed me for four games on the Big 12 Network. I did that first game and I was terrible. They wanted to try me in the studio on game days and I flew to Charlotte, N.C.
“I thought I was terrible again but the next week they called and offered me seven more games and some Big 12 studio games. They were very patient with me the first few years,” he said. “I do about 45 games and studio bits a year.”
Manzer, who also appears on the Big 12 This Week show on ESPNU, wants the knowledgeable fan to realize he knows what he’s talking about and wants the casual fan to understand the game.
“I’m not going to sugar coat anything because I don’t want to lose credibility but I’m not going to be personally critical,” added Manzer.
“I’ve always felt comfortable talking about the game,” Manzer said. “You look at the people I played for – Jerry Havens, Don Sumner and Coach Sutton - if you paid attention at all you learned the game. Everyone at ESPN thinks I learned everything from Coach Sutton but Jerry Havens is where I got my foundation.
“It’s a very workable schedule and about all of a schedule I really want to do. It’s been a real joy, especially covering the league you love,” Manzer said.
Ron Holt is a columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Holt was a sports editor for the News Press for nearly 30 years and still resides in Stillwater.