Manav Maini – Rising Ice Hockey Star

Image by Kristen Tomazic

Image by Kristen Tomazic

When someone at Boro says ice hockey, many think about the cold, the movie “Miracle”, and the New Jersey Devils. But many this year will think about our school’s ice hockey team – and how they are killing it week after week.

This week I had the opportunity to talk to Manav Maini, a junior and athlete for Boro’s Ice Hockey team. Manav plays as a centerman for both Boro and for the Jersey Shore Wildcats team.

For number 18, hockey thrills him and is a major part of his life. He said, “I love the fast pace of the sport. It gives me a thrill that other sports do not.” His start in hockey came from when he was little; he frequently visited the ice rink when his sister skated. He saw the hockey players in the rink and one second later, here he is representing Freehold High School.

Over the years, though, he has found it hard to keep his love for hockey so strong. Maini said, “I thought about quitting after tearing my meniscus earlier this year in May. Injuries are very common in hockey, and this one was really taking a toll on my body.” He also talked about how hockey is very time-consuming and can take up a good amount of your weekend – even just from driving to the tournaments. “I don’t think I’ve had a weekend without a game since September, and probably won’t until March at the earliest.”

Even with these struggles, Manav carries on and is getting ready for the team’s upcoming season. With inspiration from his dad, he continues to work hard to progress in and outside of hockey. “[My dad] serves patients every day and is by my side to help me with my problems all the time.” In addition to his dad, he said that waiting for a boogie wit da hoodie’s new album is keeping him going.

Maini has aspirations for his future in hockey by going D3 somewhere and just, “play(ing) for the rest of my life as much as I can.” He also plans on majoring in business and going into the banking industry. 

Throughout 18’s time at Boro, he has been a member of Model UN, Youth and Government, and DECA. Outside of boro, he gives back to his community by volunteering to help underprivileged families. He enjoys cooking and has found it soothing, especially after a long week of school and hockey. He is also a student in the Medical Sciences program.

His advice for people, whether in a rigorous program or not, is that “keeping a balance between everything is extremely important. Sometimes making sacrifices and skipping out on hockey and school every once in a while is good… that is important for mental health.”