MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin head coach Jason James has announced the signings of two players who will join the Skyhawk roster in 2013-14, as Terrence Durham and Javier Martinez have inked National Letters of Intent to join the UT Martin basketball family.
Terrence Durham, G, 6-3, 195, Jr., Memphis, Tenn. (South Plains College)
Durham, who originally signed with TCU out of high school, has played the past two seasons under head coach Steve Green at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Durham helped lead the Texans to a 58-8 record in his two seasons at SPC, including a perfect 36-0 mark and NJCAA national championship during his freshman season.
Overall, Durham played in 49 games at SPC. His best game as a sophomore came on Nov. 13 against Temple, when he poured in 17 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. His best game as a freshman came against Frank Phillips College on Feb. 16, when he handed out nine assists.
Durham spent the 2010-11 season at Brehm Preparatory School in Carbondale, Ill. – one of the most prominent prep schools in the nation that also produced current Skyhawk senior Mike Liabo. He averaged 12.8 points, six assists and five rebounds per game for head coach Aaron Lee.
Prior to Brehm Prep, Durham was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and earned an 85 out of 100 ranking by ESPN.com’s recruiting services after a spectacular career at Craigmont High School in Memphis. As a senior, he was a 2010 Commercial Appeal Best of Preps Class AAA selection after leading the Chiefs to a 26-5 record and state ranking as high as No. 6. He was listed as the third-best combo guard prospect in the state of Tennessee and a top sleeper candidate by recruiting guru Rick Bolus.
“Terrence is a very smart basketball player,” James said. “He is a true point guard who has a great feel for the game. He gets others involved and is very unselfish. The thing that makes him dangerous is that he can also score if he has to. His ability to keep the defense honest by being able to put the ball in the basket will make him very valuable to us. I am looking forward to seeing Terrence play in a Skyhawk uniform this season. We had a need for a true point guard who could find the open man as well as score if the team needed it – Terrence fits that need very well.”
Javier Martinez, F, 6-7, 210, Fr., St. Croix, Virgin Islands (St. Louis Christian Academy)
James traveled to his hometown to sign Martinez, who was making a name for himself after a dominant senior season at St. Louis Christian Academy under head coach Casey Autenrieth. He helped the Cougars to a consistent top-five ranking for small schools by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Despite the fact that St. Louis Christian is an affiliate school that cannot participate in the MSHSAA state tournament, Martinez turned heads around the St. Louis metro area with his eye-popping performances throughout the season. He was named MVP of the Borgia Thanksgiving Tournament after averaging 23.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in three games, including a 28 point, 16 rebound performance in the championship over Washington.
Martinez was also named to the all-tournament squad after posting averages of 24.3 points and 13.5 rebounds over four games in the Neosho Holiday Classic, which featured several nationally touted programs. He piled up 30 points and 18 rebounds against Pierce City, 28 points and 14 rebounds against Ruskin, 28 points and 14 rebounds against Memphis Sheffield and 11 points, eight rebounds against national power Sunrise Christian in the title game of the tournament.
As a teenager, the scrappy Martinez earned invaluable experience playing for the U.S. Virgin Islands U18 National Team. He was one of the team’s best players in the 2010 Tournament of the Americas, where he squared off against future NBA stars Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers in the tournament opener. He ranked third on the team with 6.2 rebounds per game in the five-game tournament, while his best game came against Mexico (13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, seven rebounds in 22 minutes) on June 30.
“I love Javier’s attitude towards the game of basketball,” James said. “He loves to play and he loves to win. He will do anything the team requires of him to win a game. He has a great understanding of how to play, which is something most freshmen struggle with. He is a student of the game and he wants to get better. He works hard to improve and plays hard at every opportunity that he gets. The thing that our team will benefit most along with his attitude is his ability to chase the ball off the glass – he is a very effective rebounder on both ends of the floor. I am excited about Javier’s future here in a Skyhawk uniform.”
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