What our

Athletes say








Manny Hendrix and the Program he has set up has had a huge impact on the community of the Collingwood All Stars basketball association, he has impacted me and many other players and we really appreciate him for everything he’s done.

Mr Hendrix and the Program is the reason I’ve become the person I am today, I don’t know where’d I’d be without him. He is currently helping me pursue my dreams and take basketball seriously and he has taken a few other boys overseas the names of Athiaan and my cousin Deng who has set a blueprint for us younger men.

Manny makes everyone around him better on and off the court helping us mature into young men and women I don’t know where the club would be without him, I don’t know where I’d be. He has helped improve the club, the community, and the culture-making us stay out of trouble, opening the gymnasium as much as possible, and setting the tone where we have a welcoming and loving environment.

Manny has had a big portion of our success as a club.

Manny is someone I could call a builder. I remember the first time I met him when I was around 15-16, I wasn’t really taking basketball or school seriously. I was all over the place when he came up to me and told me I had a lot of potential to play college basketball. Ever since we had that talk, he took me under his wing and became a big brother, mentor, and a coach.

His Program started up study hall for all the kids around the club who need additional help with their homework. He also started working me and some other kids out in the mornings before school to help me get better and get to school on time. Also, anything I ever needed he was also always there for me, anything that was on my mind I could talk to him about he would help me get through it.

Without him, I don’t think I would be the person I am today or be where I am without him. I’m currently playing college basketball in the United States and Manny still check up on me a couple times a week to see how I’m going and to make sure I’m on track with everything because when your away from home it gets tough mentally and he still gives me advice in all aspects of life.

This shows the type of person Manny is.

My name is Achol and I play basketball for the Collingwood All-Stars. Growing up playing basketball before Manny joined Collingwood was very hard for me as I was someone that talked back to my coaches, got technical fouls and other things. When Manny joined ollingwood and started the Program, he helped me with the journey of helping me get better at those things.

Manny has helped me with my skills as a young player and my attitude towards people at basketball and outside of basketball. Manny has helped me come a long way with my skills helped me believe in myself and that I have an open pathway to being a professional player.

Manny continues to do good for the community and is someone that wants us to be great, someone that works us out really hard on the court because hard work pays off. Because of Manny and the Program, I wouldn’t be who I am now, the motivation has brought me along way and I continue to work hard to make him proud and accomplish my dreams.

I never knew how important it is to work really hard at school and to put school before basketball. Manny opens up a homework club before we start our exams every day for the week early mornings and after school with Manny opening up homework club for the community it showed me the importance of education is the only way I will be able to achieve and take my basketball career.

I and the community are very grateful and are honoured to have Manny as a coach and as someone who we look up to.

Working with a hard money lender in the past was always frustrating when it came to service and responsiveness. There is a big differen

Since entering the Youth Development Program with Manny Hendrix my life and basketball skills changed drastically and Sky rocketed. Manny coaching me has changed my life in all aspects from on and off the court.

I came into the system with a passion and dream and he created a lane to make my dream more clear and straight. Creating and providing many opportunities so I can reach my full potential such as Summer-grind, youth league, mental Monday’s, homework club and the countless morning workouts.

He taught me the importance of choosing the right crowd to be around and the importance of Education. Pushing me to be the best I can at school and creating Programs for me to do so like homework club and his endless quote ‘Student-Athlete not Athlete-Student’ clarifying what my priorities should be.

My goals are not as far-fetched as they once were now my goals are around the corner with the opportunities Manny and the Program provided for me and my friends.

ce when you are working with someone who has your best interests in mind.”

My name is Jake. I have been coached by Manny Hendrix since I was 17. Starting to play Basketball at the age of 16 was tough, I was very new to the sport, very hot headed and emotional but nevertheless very passionate about the sport.

Moving from Eltham to Collingwood Allstars was a great transition and a life changing movement especially coming from competing in Track & Field. Manny helped me settle in with the club very easily, making me feel at home with the multicultural family-based community, which I loved and made it easier for me to develop with basketball and with friends.

Manny helped me a lot with the way I deal my emotions on the court and off, by talking to me numerous times and just continuing to be positive with me but also showing discipline whenever I was out of line, and that benefited me a lot because I knew that someone knew me on a emotional level but also a basketball standpoint too. Manny and the Program has taught me the importance of being on time and how being organised is key for my future.

I have also learnt to be not serious all the time and to be positive and show a smile around others. Manny has never given up on me either, when I drifted away from the Program onto the streets and strayed away with the wrong crowd, he kept checking up on me and kept giving me opportunities to come back to basketball even though I ignored him.

His patience with players but especially with me is something I will never forget and a blessing because he’s allowed me to make mistakes but also allowed me to learn and grow from them.

When Manny first came to Collingwood I was just a young 15-year old who loved playing basketball but didn’t know what it took and the things that came with becoming a better basketball player and putting myself in a position to succeed at a high level.

I was a kid who liked hanging out with my friends, wasn’t super serious about school, and getting into some trouble at school or on the streets. Like a regular teenage kid that’s pretty normal, the only difference is the majority of kids don’t have that father figure, big brother or even just a mentor growing up in Collingwood or the city of Yarra.

Manny was all those for me and luckily for me I also had an older brother and father who also looked out for me and made me the person I am today.

There are a lot of kids who are in the same situation I was when I was their age who now look up to me, my biggest thing is helping them understand it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you put in the hard work, time, effort, and do right by others the sky is the limit for them. The same way I looked up to Manny, my older brother and some of his friends is the same thing those kids see in me. My biggest goal in life is to do right by my community and family and change even just one kid’s life the same way Manny changed mine.

There are a lot of people who have helped me in my life and Manny is one of the most important out of all those people, if It wasn’t for his passion, the program and his love for the game I would not be where I am today and for that, I am forever grateful.

For the past 3 years I’ve been in the Youth Program and coached by coach Manny Hendrix Jr, he is not only a coach but also a role model, mentor and someone I all look up to. Manny and the program has impacted my life in many ways as I came to him with a dream, and he helped me not only making my vision clearer but showing me the amount of hard work that is needed and showing me the importance of education and the importance of being around the right people and not choosing the wrong crowd.

Coach has helped me become a better athlete and a better young man he provided me with all the knowledge I need to know not only about basketball but also about life in general.

Manny and the program has pushed me to be the best student-athlete I can be as he taught me to be a student before an athlete which is a way of getting my priorities straight. In terms of basketball, he pushed me to become the best basketball player I can be by giving me many morning trainings, camps, a session called mental Monday where we work on mistakes and errors in basketball games and learn from them, and a summer camp called summer grind where we stay focused over the holidays and work on our craft.

And in terms of school, the program and study hall has helped me to get the best grades I can get, provided me with tutors and homework clubs. Now that I look at my dream the program has made it seem more possible than I would’ve thought 3 years ago, as Manny motivates me and helps me I feel as if I’m getting closer to my dream everyday.

What the Parents Say

Mark Raymond

It has been my privilege to have gotten to know Manny Hendrix over the last 6 years. I originally met Manny in my role as Vice President of the Collingwood Allstars Basketball Association, where we hired Manny to the role of Director of Basketball Programs. I saw first-hand the immediate difference Manny made at our club – in improving our basketball programs (and the performance of our teams) but also as a mentor and developer of people.

I have also experienced Manny as a father of two boys who have been coached by him. My oldest son Charlie has been coached by Manny for the last 4 years. Playing basketball under Manny has changed Charlie’s life. Charlie has benefited from playing basketball to a standard that he would only have dreamt of a few years ago. Two years ago, Charlie was part of a team that Manny took to the U.S.A to compete in one of the most prominent tournaments in the U.S.A, competing against players who would be going on to play college basketball. This experience opened Charlie’s eyes to what’s possible with his basketball.

The effect has been broader than Charlie’s basketball – the lessons that he has learnt through Manny and the Program that he has built – in particular the importance of hard work and being committed – has been a life lesson that Charlie has applied to his schooling and other aspects of his life. He went on to do very well in his final year at school, and I put a lot of his academic success to lessons he has learnt through Manny, the Program and the the community Manny helped to build. My other son, Jonah, is now part of the Program. Jonah is gaining a confidence and enjoyment of basketball that he has not experienced before. He is learning the value of hard work and commitment. Manny has also impacted me. His commitment to supporting and inspiring kids who don’t get opportunities is something I admire, as his is calm, inner confidence, and infectious passion and energy. I am an executive coach and I have learnt lots from seeing how Manny gets the best out of the people who he coaches.

Manny is a role model, and the program and community he has built is an inspiration and and he and the program has changed the trajectory of people’s lives.

Geanette Urbancic

Manny Hendrix has been the Collingwood All Stars leading player and coach for a number of years. Initially, Manny was very focused on the boy’s side of the All Stars development, however, over the past two years Manny has recognised the gap in female basketball mentorship (primarily because of COVID) and has stepped up to offer the ambitious and hardworking girl’s opportunities to train at a higher level, in a mixed environment and utilising diverse training methods.

Manny is present as a coach and mentor throughout the entire week at Collingwood College. He connects with every child that comes through the door. He presents with a relaxed and approachable attitude, engaging the children at an appropriate level and always encouraging.

In the last few years, Manny has re-thought how to engage the young teenage cohort and we have seen the program evolve over this time. He has organised early morning sessions to provide additional opportunities to train and receive individual attention. Similarly, he has reviewed the school holiday program to engage a talented group of teenage girls and boys. Offering 6 mornings sessions over the two weeks of holidays to train intensely, with weights, conditioning, build ball-handling skills and shooting.

My two daughters have been so engaged with the SummaGrind program; they have signed up automatically for the following two school holidays. Manny has found a program where both girls and boys can train and learn together. These are motivated kids who appreciate Manny’s teaching, the feedback manner and the structure that the Program allows them to thrive in. He pushes them to keep training as that is how any athlete improves. Manny taps into my girl’s individual psychs by targeting whatever will motivate them. They are spent after the sessions but smiling and ready to come back the following morning to do the same again.

Manny treats the kids with enormous respect, and therefore the kids respond with respect. Manny has had to work hard with my younger daughter who isn’t fazed by “the star” that is Manny, but Manny put in a little extra effort and has found a connection with her. Manny’s coaching has offered my daughters further development in the game that they love. He has found a perfect formulation of having teenage girls train hard in an environment that is fun. My daughters have benefited to no end.