Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Mangas Shining With Mad Ants

By Isaac Wolf Mar 19, 2024

by Abby Harvey, Coleton Pratt, Isaac Wolf, Nick Windsor, Reilly Gaunt

A former Indiana Wesleyan men’s basketball star is making noise in his professional hoops journey. 

Kyle Mangas, a 2021 graduate, is currently playing in the NBA G-League for the Indiana Mad Ants, the affiliate of the Indiana Pacers. Mangas was a four-time NAIA All-American in his time at IWU and is the school’s all-time leading scorer, amassing over 3,400 points. 

“He always made the right play throughout his career,” Wildcats head basketball coach, Greg Tonagel said. 

Wildcats associate head coach Jeff Clark echoed a similar sentiment. “His humility allowed him to forget mistakes,” Clark said. “Mentally, he was as strong as any player that we’ve coached and I think a lot of it had to do with his humility.”

Coach Tonagel and Coach Clark have been two of Mangas’s biggest supporters throughout his career.

“(Coach Tonagel and Coach Clark) have helped me so much in letting me know that my identity isn’t in a basketball player, but it’s in my faith, it’s in being a son, a brother, a fiancée,” Mangas said. “That was so important for me to get out of my head and just know that stats don’t define me, performance doesn’t define me, but that I’m a lot more than that.”

After his wildly successful college career, Mangas got an opportunity to work out with three NBA teams for a chance to get drafted. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers all worked out the 6’4” guard. 

“It was a dream come true just to be in the building,” Mangas said. 

Mangas Tip Off

Despite going undrafted, Mangas was presented the opportunity to go overseas and play in Prague, Czech Republic. He put up averages of 20.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Mangas then suited up in Lithuania the next season, where he averaged 12.3 points per game

”When I first got there, my head was spinning, but at the same time, I love it.” Mangas said.

Mangas was expecting to go back overseas after a short summer home in 2023, but then the Pacers came calling.

“I passed up some European offers and was able to get a workout with the Mad Ants. The workout went very well and they offered me a contract and I took it that day. It was a no-brainer for me,” Mangas said.

The Pacers signed Mangas to an Exhibit 10 deal on October 17, 2023. He was waived the next day, paving the way for him to suit up with the affiliate Mad Ants. 

“That’s really cool to be playing pro basketball in the state you grew up in, especially Indiana,” Mangas said.

Mangas’ performance this season earned him a spot in this year’s G-League Up Next game. He scored two points in five minutes of play in the first-to-30 scrimmage.

As the regular season comes to a close, Mangas and the Mad Ants sit at the number two spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 18-11. Mangas is averaging 17.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. The Mad Ants will look to make a run in the G-League playoffs, starting on April 2, in a single-elimination first round game.

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