SALISBURY — A North Surry alumnus is shining bright in his senior year at college.
Lee Martin is a starter at small forward for the Catawba Indians. He not only ranks among the team leaders in several categories, he is ranked in the top 20 in the South Atlantic Conference, too.
“We’re super young this season,” said Martin. The Indians have seven new faces on the roster: six freshmen and a transfer. Still, the players have shown flashes of talent.
Against the two of the toughest teams on their schedule, the Indians lost by just two and lost the other in overtime.
On Dec. 15, the Indians lost by seven to Belmont Abbey, but that was with Martin watching from the bench with a sprained ankle.
In the first seven games of the season, Martin led the team in steals and was a close second in these categories: blocks (1.3 per game), scoring (13.4 points), free throw shooting (81.5 percent) and free throw attempts.
The 6-foot-6 senior is third in rebounding at 5.4 a contest. He makes two three-pointers a game, but he’s not just a gunner.
In fact, he is shooting a blistery 51.9 percent from long range, ranking him third in the South Atlantic Conference.
When told about his high ranking, Martin said he had no idea he was up that high.
“I try not to look at that stuff,” he said. A shooter can’t start overthinking his jump shot, worrying about his percentages too much.
With the long jumper falling, a player’s best friend is a pump fake, Martin added. With his height, driving into the lane has allowed him to get to the foul line more often where he is eighth in the conference in shooting percentage.
Martin also is eighth in the conference in minutes played per game (32.4), as well as fifth in blocked shots, 16th in scoring and 18th in overall shooting percentage (50.9 percent).
He played under Coach Chris Butler when he was at North Surry and often comes back to assist in summer youth camps.
Martin will graduate in May on time with a degree in business administration. Catawba has a great business program under executive-in-residence Ralph Ketner, the founder of Food Lion, he explained.
Admittedly, Martin is still trying to figure out what comes next.
With his love of hoops, he would like to see if he could continue his playing career in some fashion. Or, he could explore coaching with some of the contacts he has made over the past four years. Then there is the possibility of graduate school to get his MBA.
For now, he’s going to continue enjoying his senior season.