Beaver Dam teenager makes NBA Young Bucks dance team
Manny Wilke of Beaver Dam, born with a rare birth defect rendering him deaf, will be performing courtside at select home games for the NBA Milwaukee Bucks.
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (WMTV) -Milwaukee Bucks fans will soon be needing to commit another name to memory for home games this fall at Fiserv Forum.
This may be the first time you’re hearing about 16-year-old Manny Wilke of Beaver Dam, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Taking up dancing at an early age, then 7-year-old Wilke tried out for the Young Bucks, a youth dance team with the Milwaukee Bucks organization. Although he didn’t make it then, the idea of dancing courtside in Milwaukee never strayed from Manny’s radar.
In August, that dream for Manny became reality. The 16-year-old is one of 17 kids (age 7-17) hand-selected to be performing once a month at Bucks’ home games.
While the teenager may now be an official paid NBA employee, Wilke’s journey hasn’t been always been smooth dance moves.
Manny was born with a rare birth defect that left him without outer ears and closed ear canals, rendering him deaf; making a passion for music and dancing seemingly impossible.
In 2011, NBC15 profiled the Wilke family when Manny was four years old and undergoing multiple surgeries to correct his rare birth defect. He now wears bilateral Bone Anchored Hearing Aids.
Fast forward to 2019, when NBC15′s Tim Elliot circled back with Manny after learning of his flourishing dancing career and slick moves, despite his hearing impairment.
Now a sophomore at Beaver Dam High School Manny performs his hip hop solo at varsity basketball games (and has been for six years) so he will be no stranger to performing on the court.
Manny is entering year 10 with the Elite Dance Centre in Beaver Dam. He is a part of DCE’s pre-professional dance team, well-versed in hip hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet dancing.
His first home game with Young Bucks will be Nov. 21.
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