Martin carving his own path at Murray State

Murray State sophomore guard Jeff Martin has one of the most famous names in Murray State basketball history. His father, Jeff Martin Sr., is Murray State’s all-time leading scorer.

“Every day I hear something about my dad,” Martin said. “It might be in a classroom. It might be at Wal-Mart, or Kroger or here at the gym. But at some point in the day, somebody’s going to say something about my dad.”

That’s to be expected considering Jeff Martin Sr.’s name and number are hanging from the rafters of the CFSB Center. While duplicating his father’s career is next to impossible, the fans love having the younger Martin in the program – and that’s something Jeff can feel.

“The first time I scored I remember the reaction of the crowd,” Martin recalled. “I’m just a walk-on and the crowd goes crazy. I can’t believe it’s all for me.”

You could argue there’s actually some pressure in being a walk-on. Walk-ons rarely get into games. When they do, even though it’s not exactly what the coach may want, everybody in the building wants them to shoot as soon as possible – even their teammates.

“When he gets in the game, I tell him to shoot the ball,” senior guard TJ Sapp said laughing. “Make sure you get your bucket. I don’t care — just shoot it.”

“If I get a shot – great.” Martin said. “If I get an assist — cool. I just want to go out there and play, and not worry about the shot stats. I just go out there and play — have fun and play the game.”

While his father is one of the greatest players ever at Murray State, Jeff Martin Jr. wants to carve his own path.

“I don’t want any special treatment. I don’t want to be treated differently. I don’t want to be a walk-on, or your dad played here. I really don’t want to worry about any of that and I just want to be one of the players on the team.”

Martin says there are times during a game he’ll glance up and see his father’s retired number hanging from the ceiling at the CFSB Center. He said he knows his dad made history, and now he just wants to make history with his team too. Murray State has won 18 games in a row. That’s the second longest winning streak in school history. The Racers will go for 19 in a row tomorrow night at Austin Peay. 

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