CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern junior forward Jamar Martin has started four games and been a valuable contributor for the Bucs this season. Martin scored a career-high 13 points last Wednesday at Campbell. Find out more about his path to CSU as the Bucs prepare for a two-game homestand this week.
Q&A with CSU junior forward Jamar Martin
Q: How did you end up coming here to CSU?
A: I was at Navarro Junior College in Texas and my freshman year, I had a pretty good year and was on the radar for a lot of coaches. I started to pick up a lot of interest from schools, one of them being Charleston Southern. I had about 25-30 schools to choose from but I felt like this school recruited me the hardest and really showed that they were interested in me. This was my first visit and after my second one, I just knew my choice was to come here.
Q: Where in Texas is Navarro?
A: In a small, middle of nowhere town (laughing) called Corsicana, Texas. It was like 45 minutes from Dallas. Coach (Joey) Murdock came all the way out there a couple of times.
Q: Did you enjoy a return trip to Texas when you guys won at Abilene Christian in November?
A: I got to see a couple of people from my old school when we went to Abilene. It was cool to be back in Texas but I don't miss it too much.
Q: You had the opportunity to return to your home city of Toronto on the team's Canadian tour in August. What was it like to get to hold a clinic for area kids in a gym you grew up playing in?
A: That was a great experience. I had a lot of tough practices in that gym, the Esplanade. I saw a lot of people that I used to play with, a lot of coaches that used to coach me so it was good to go back and give back to the community where I'm from.
Q: How would you assess the state of Canadian basketball?
A: Basketball in Toronto has really started to come up. Just the progress that we've had with guys going to the NBA, a lot of guys going to the Division I level, playing pro overseas. Right now, it's picking up and guys like me and Jamal, we're like kind of paving the way for guys in our area. Guys after us have been getting a lot more interest in high school because of what guys like us and ahead of us have done. It's starting to pick up and I'm kind of proud of it. There's a couple of Canadian basketball leagues that will be starting soon, like pro leagues, which is good too so I think Canada basketball's on the up and up.
Q: You have the luxury of playing alongside a fellow Toronto native in Jamal Thomas. Did you guys know each other growing up?
A: We played a lot as kids. Us and a couple of other guys that are playing D-I across the country. We knew each other growing up but were always rivals but now we're teammates. It's cool because I have someone I can relate to and someone that relates to me. Same culture so it's not like I'm alone out here in a cultural sense.
Q: What has the acclimation to Division I basketball entailed?
A: I've been blessed to have two years of college before I came here so it wasn't like it was brand new to me but obviously when you go to a new school, you have to get used to the system, used to the coaching staff. So I've been trying to adjust to the coaching staff, adjust to what the coaches want from me and try to incorporate it into my game to help our team the best I can. As long as I'm given opportunities, I'm going to continue to help our team.