Why would Ryan Martin travel from England, to Tennessee, to play basketball?
“When I came here for my visit, what I liked most about it, the coaches were like family,” said Ryan. “A lot of people say that, but it was what I’m used to. …They were cracking jokes with each other and how they interacted with each other felt like home.”
Martin is a senior basketball player here at Tech and also studies sociology. Martin is originally from London, England. He is 6-foot-9 forward and weighs 225 pounds. He’s the second youngest of six siblings.
Through 26 games this year, Martin has averaged almost 15 points with eight rebounds. He leads the team in boards and second in scoring.
“Ryan has a great motor, plays hard, tough and an elite rebounder,” said Stephen Payne, Tech’s men’s basketball head coach. “He’s a go-to option on offense and a big impact on the program with the leadership role he’s taken on.”
Although he is listed as a forward, he doesn’t consider himself a “Big Man.”
“I’m a player, I wouldn’t label myself anything because I’m very versatile,” said Martin. “I can dribble the ball, I can shoot and I can also make plays in the low-post.”
Martin’s philosophy, on and off the court, is to have fun.
“Once you stop having fun, you might as well stop,” said Martin. “There’s not a time out on the court when I’m not having fun.”
Martin, like many Division I athletes, would like to advance his basketball career by playing in the NBA.
“Miami would be my dream team, I would love to live in Florida,” said Martin. “It would be a blessing to land anywhere.”
Playing college basketball and being from London isn’t a normal occurrence in the states. Martin also played soccer but chose to pick basketball for his profession.
“My dad always wanted me to represent my country,” explained Martin. “I was playing at the highest level in my country in basketball, and my dad encouraged me to go for it.”
Martin’s parents Octavia Martin and Lloyd Martin, along with his youngest brother Aaron Martin, are his biggest inspirations.
“They sacrifice so much for me and have always put my dreams before anything else,” said Martin. “Every time I go on the court I lace it up for them.”
Men’s basketball is still undefeated at home this year with a 13-0 record. Tech’s next home game is Thursday, Feb. 25, against Morehead State.