Winter Sports Preview: Boys Basketball

Senior Matt Martin hopes to lead Owls to a successful season this winter.


Makenna Lane, Staff Writer

Taking a year off from a sport can be challenging. 

Matt Martin decided to come back out for basketball during his senior year. As a sophomore, Martin played in ten varsity games. 

Martin said, “I want to have no regrets, and I’ve always loved basketball, so it just made sense for me to come back.” 

The Owls return several key players from last year’s team, including four who averaged at least 5 points per game–Sonny Amabile, Norman Alford, Grant Siegel and Pierce Hartmann. Last year, the Owls finished 10-16.

 Martin should add a much needed post presence and some scoring for the Owls. Through the Owls first two games in the Southside Classic, Martin is tied for the team lead in rebounds with 8.5 rebounds a game. 

Junior Sonny Amabile said, “After taking a year off, Matt was a little out of shape, but he’s been able to get back in shape, run and push his hardest.¨

New head coach Jason Gillman hopes that Martin can help add to the scoring as well. Gillman describes Martin as a good leader, smart and vocal.

 Gillman said, “He’s good at teaching his teammates and articulating in the ways I can’t.” 

Martin is always trying to help people when they are struggling, but is also very self-aware. 

Amabile compared Martin to a battery pack. 

Amabile said, “He’s loud and brings energy to the team. He could be sick and still is bringing energy.” 

This year will be a little different with Martin added to the team. During the season, he will create match up problems for other teams. With the year off, many people are unaware of Martin and what he is capable of. Amabile said having Martin on the team will help because he is a true big man at 6-feet-5-inches tall. Last year, the Owls did not have any players taller than 6-feet-2-inches. 

Martin hopes to be the best player he can be personally, and for the team, he wants to come out every night, have fun and win. 

Martin said, “I try to be my biggest motivator, but when I’m not feeling confident in myself, I go to my dad and he picks me back up.”

Martin also plays baseball. Martin is thankful for basketball because it will prepare him for baseball in the spring. Meanwhile, Gillman is thankful that Martin came back to basketball. 

Gilman said, “Guys gravitate towards Matt. I think he is a natural-born leader, and us without him would be a lot different.”