Damian Martin

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This article is about the basketball player. For the makeup artist, see Damian Martin (makeup artist). For the cricketer, see Damien Martyn.
Damian Martin
Damian Martin 8.jpg
Martin in March 2017
No. 53 – Perth Wildcats
Position Point guard
League NBL
Personal information
Born (1984-09-05) 5 September 1984 (age 32)
Gloucester, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Listed height 186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Listed weight 92 kg (203 lb)
Career information
High school Gloucester
(Gloucester, New South Wales)
Lake Ginninderra (Canberra, ACT)
College Loyola Marymount (2003–2007)
NBA draft 2007 / Undrafted
Playing career 2007–present
Career history
2007–2009 West Sydney Razorbacks/Sydney Spirit
2009–present Perth Wildcats
Career highlights and awards

Damian Patrick Martin (born 5 September 1984) is an Australian professional basketball player for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). He played college basketball for Loyola Marymount University and is a regular member of the Australian national team. The five-time NBL Best Defensive Player is poised to be ranked amongst the best NBL defenders of all-time.[1]

Junior career[edit]

Martin was a prolific player on the Australian national junior team and an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder in 2002. He was captain of the Australian team that won the gold medal at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, the first in the country's history.

Martin played NCAA Division I basketball for Loyola Marymount University where he was a key contributor for the Lions. After a successful freshman and sophomore season, he was forced to redshirt the 2005–06 due to a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered while playing with the national team. He returned to the Lions in 2006–07 but left the program in 2007 to return to Australia. In his three seasons for LMU, he played 88 games (69 starts) and averaged 4.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game,[2] and was a West Coast Conference All-Freshmen team honouree in 2003–04.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Following his college career, Martin signed with the West Sydney Razorbacks of the National Basketball League. He played the first 10 games of the 2007–08 season before a knee injury suffered in November 2007 ended his rookie season. He returned to the club for the 2008–09 season, now known as the Sydney Spirit,[4] and led the league in steals with 1.9 per game. He went on to play for the Australian senior national team (Boomers) for the first time at the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championship.

Perth Wildcats[edit]

Following the demise of the Sydney Spirit, Martin followed long-time mentor and Spirit head coach Rob Beveridge over to Perth where the pair joined the Wildcats for the 2009–10 NBL season.[5] Playing alongside Shawn Redhage, Brad Robbins and Kevin Lisch, Martin helped the Wildcats win their record-breaking fifth NBL championship in 2009–10. He was again named in the Boomers' squad for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship.

2012–13 season[edit]

During the 2012–13 season, with the retirement of Brad Robbins mid-season, Martin was named co-captain alongside Shawn Redhage. On 24 March 2013, Martin made history by being named the NBL's Best Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season. He became just the third player in NBL history to win the award in three consecutive seasons, and the first since 2001.[6] On 1 April 2013, he was ruled out of the 2013 NBL grand final series against the New Zealand Breakers with a partial tear of his Achilles tendon.[7] He suffered the injury in the Wildcats' 85–81 win over the Wollongong Hawks in Game 2 of their semi-final series, which booked the club a spot in the grand final for the third time in four seasons.[8]

2013–14 season[edit]

Martin at the Wildcats' 2014 championship ceremony

On 9 October 2013, Martin was named the sole captain of the Perth Wildcats for the 2013–14 season.[9] On 2 April 2014, he was named the NBL's Best Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth straight season, becoming the first player in NBL history to win the award four seasons in a row.[10][11] He went on to lead the Wildcats to their sixth NBL championship, defeating the Adelaide 36ers 2–1 in the 2014 NBL grand final series.

2014–15 season[edit]

On 14 May 2014, Martin re-signed with the Wildcats on a two-year deal (with the option of a third).[12] On 24 October 2014, he recorded nine steals in the Wildcats' 84–63 win over the Sydney Kings, the second most by a Perth Wildcat in the club's history; Ricky Grace recorded 10 in 1990.[13] He was subsequently named round three's player of the week for his efforts.[14] On 31 December 2014, Martin played his 200th NBL game in an 86–77 win over the Wollongong Hawks. In just under 34 minutes of action, he recorded a then season-high 17 points, along with 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.[15][16] He went on to record a season-high 19 points, along with 8 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 assists, in a loss to the New Zealand Breakers on 29 January 2015.[17] After bowing out of the semi-finals to the Cairns Taipans in straight sets, Martin was named the NBL's Best Defensive Player for the fifth year in a row, further building his reputation as one of the NBL's all-time best defenders.[1]

2015–16 season[edit]

On 5 November 2015, Martin was ruled out for three months after suffering a broken jaw and missing teeth after an elbow from Townsville Crocodiles forward Brian Conklin the previous night. The Wildcats were defeated by the Crocodiles 89–77, with the game overshadowed by the brutal incident, which happened with just a minute remaining in the game and led to a war of words between the teams.[18] Despite been ruled out for three months, Martin's surgery and recovery went better than expected, and he was deemed fit to play in the team's November 27 match against the New Zealand Breakers.[19] On 17 February 2016, Martin's run of successive Best Defensive Player awards was broken by former teammate Kevin Lisch, who was named the recipient of the award for the 2015–16 season.[20] Two days later, he played his 200th game for the Wildcats in the team's first semi-final game against the Illawarra Hawks. In 29 minutes of action, Martin turned the screws defensively, finishing with four steals and countless quality defensive efforts, but also knocked down a season-high three triples to spark the offense. He also recorded nine points, six rebounds and three assists to help the Wildcats win 80–68.[21] Martin went on to lead the Wildcats to a 2–1 series win over the Hawks, booking the club a spot in the Grand Final for the fifth time in seven seasons. Martin was inspirational during the grand final series, helping the Wildcats defeat long-time arch rivals the New Zealand Breakers 2–1 for their first ever playoff series win over the Breakers, making up for their grand final defeats in 2012 and 2013 at the hands of the Breakers. With the series victory, the Wildcats claimed their seventh NBL championship, as Martin subsequently earned Grand Final MVP honours.[22][23][24]

2016–17 season[edit]

Martin, who became a four-time NBL champion in 2017, is a Perth Wildcats fan favourite.[25]

On 2 June 2016, Martin signed a new three-year deal with the Wildcats.[26] Two months later, Martin made his Olympic debut for the Australian Boomers at the 2016 Rio Olympics.[27]

On 23 October 2016, Martin recorded a career-high 13 rebounds in a 72–69 win over Melbourne United.[28][29] During the game, he received a heavy knock to the head, with x-rays revealing a fracture to the left side of his jaw. Consequently, he was ruled out for two weeks of action.[30] He returned after missing just one game, but sustained another injury, this time a grade three MCL tear in his left knee against the Adelaide 36ers on 5 November. He was subsequently ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks.[31] Much like in 2015–16, Martin managed to return from injury earlier than expected, as he joined the playing group for their first game of 2017 on 7 January in Sydney against the Kings. He helped the Wildcats win back-to-back road games for the first time in more than one year, as he picked up a team-high two steals in an 80–74 victory.[32] On 28 January, in his 250th NBL game, Martin scored a season-high 11 points to go with six rebounds and four assists in a 73–71 win over Melbourne.[33] The Wildcats finished the regular season in third place with a 15–13 record, and played the second-seeded Cairns Taipans in the semi-finals, a series the Wildcats swept 2–0. The series sweep advanced the Wildcats into the NBL Grand Final for the sixth time in eight years. In the best-of-five grand final series against the Illawarra Hawks, Martin was superb on defence in Game 1 (limiting the dynamic Rotnei Clarke to just eight shots),[34] hit the scoreboard in Game 2 (scoring 12 points on four three-pointers),[35] and did a bit of everything in Game 3 (three points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals) to lead the Wildcats to a 3–0 series sweep and an eighth NBL championship.[36] Martin collected his fourth championship (third as captain) in a back-to-back effort, as the Wildcats defended their title for the first time since 1990/1991.[37]

In February 2017, just weeks before the Wildcats were victorious over Illawarra in the grand final series, Martin stated that winning this season's championship would be the most-special title of his NBL career, mentioning that all of the adversity in 2016–17 had made this season even more special. The Wildcats slumped to last spot in December (7–9 record) as the team's injury toll started to have a significant impact. Long-term injuries to Martin, Jarrod Kenny and Matt Knight hurt the Wildcats in 2016–17, while early-season import shuffles disrupted the team's cohesiveness. The Wildcats only just scraped through to the finals after beating Melbourne United away in the final round. The victory extended Perth's playoff streak into a record 31st straight season. Martin said in February, "I've been fortunate to be a part of three Championships. If we win it this season, it would mean more to me than any of the other three because of all the adversity we've gone through. It's been such a special season."[38]

Personal[edit]

Martin is the son of Anne and Raymond Martin, and has three brothers, Daniel, John and Anthony, and one sister, Beth.[3] Martin and his wife, Brittany,[39] have a daughter named Maggie.[40] His wife's cousin is rugby league player Michael Morgan.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b NBL Awards: Defensive Player of the Year
  2. ^ Damian Martin Stats
  3. ^ a b Damian Martin Bio – Loyola Marymount Official Athletic Site
  4. ^ Sydney Spirit set to be launched
  5. ^ Perth Wildcats sign new import
  6. ^ Award-winning Wildcats
  7. ^ Damian Martin ruled out of grand final series
  8. ^ Perth Wildcats eliminate Wollongong in thriller
  9. ^ Damian Martin named Perth Wildcats captain
  10. ^ Award Winning Wildcats
  11. ^ Martin strengthens claims as NBL's best defender
  12. ^ "Perth Wildcats re-sign Championship captain". Wildcats.com.au. NBL.com.au. 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Perth Wildcats smash Sydney Kings at Perth Arena". Wildcats.com.au. NBL.com.au. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  14. ^ R3: Player of the Week
  15. ^ Damian Martin - 200 NBL Games
  16. ^ R13 Report: Wildcats spoil the party in Wollongong
  17. ^ Perth Wildcats defeated by NZ Breakers
  18. ^ Damian Martin suffers broken jaw in Townsville Crocodiles v Perth Wildcats NBL clash
  19. ^ DAMIAN MARTIN TO RETURN FROM INJURY
  20. ^ Damian Martin misses Best Defensive Player title...
  21. ^ PERTH WILDCATS TAKE GAME ONE AGAINST HAWKS
  22. ^ PERTH WILDCATS – 2016 NBL CHAMPIONS
  23. ^ GF3 REPORT: WILDCATS BREAK NZ HOODOO FOR ANOTHER TITLE
  24. ^ DAMIAN MARTIN – GRAND FINAL MVP
  25. ^ Perth Wildcat's Damian Martin named in 12 man Australian Boomers team ahead of Rio Olympics
  26. ^ DAMIAN MARTIN EXTENDS WILDCATS CONTRACT
  27. ^ DAMIAN MARTIN SELECTED IN BOOMERS TEAM
  28. ^ 'CATS SHUT DOWN UNITED FOR FIRST AWAY WIN
  29. ^ PERTH WILDCATS CLAIM ROAD WIN OVER MELBOURNE
  30. ^ MARTIN, KENNY RULED OUT WITH INJURY
  31. ^ SCANS REVEAL MCL TEAR FOR MARTIN
  32. ^ COTTON DELIVERS AS WILDCATS DEFEAT KINGS
  33. ^ 'CATS MOVE TO THIRD IN MARTIN'S 250TH
  34. ^ DESPERATE ‘CATS OUT-HUSTLE HAWKS TO TAKE GAME 1
  35. ^ COPYBOOK ‘CATS REPEAT DOSE MINUS KNIGHT, TAKE 2-0 LEAD
  36. ^ COTTON DROPS 45 TO COMPLETE ‘CATS GF SWEEP
  37. ^ PERTH WILDCATS WIN BACK-TO-BACK NBL CHAMPIONSHIPS
  38. ^ Wildcat Martin hopes for special NBL title
  39. ^ Player Piece: Damo's Dish
  40. ^ Fairytale beckons for Damian Martin and family ahead of NBL Grand Final Game 3
  41. ^ MY COUSIN IS PLAYING STATE OF ORIGIN!...

External links[edit]