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NAIA Player Spotlight: Kortland Martin

NAIA Player Spotlight: Kortland Martin

By Jeremy Wright July 21, 2020 0 Comments

 Kortland Martin has been a pillar at the point guard position since he joined the Freed-Hardeman University Lions  basketball team in 2017 as a freshman. Martin,  a native of Humboldt, TN, decided to stay close to home and attend FHU just 45 minutes away in Henderson. Martin ultimately chose FHU because he felt it was the right fit for him and it was a great recruiting experience. He also would be close to home and the talent level and competition would help him grow as a player.

    Martin made his presence known from day one at FHU, as he took American Midwest Conference Freshman of the year honors in the  2017-2018 season, and then Third Team All-AMC honors as a sophomore in the 2018-2019 season. After his sophomore season, the FHU basketball team hired Drew Stutts, who was the assistant coach in Martin’s freshman season, as the new head coach. The prior relationship between Stutts and Martin made the transition that much smoother once Stutts took over the head coaching position. 

  “When you have coaches that are committed to making you a better person and player, it makes going hard in pre-season workouts, practice sessions, and even harder in games well worth it, Martin said.” “I have much respect for Coach Stutts and assistant coaches Jake Mitchell and Grant Burns, it’s fun playing for them, they make playing the game fun and enjoyable.” 

  Martin had a stellar junior campaign this past season as he surpassed 1,000 career points and broke the FHU single-game scoring record with a 44-point performance against Missouri Baptist. The Lions would post a 19-10 record as Martin was named First Team All-AMC  and NAIA All-American honorable mention. 

  Martin lists breaking the single-game scoring record at FHU as one of his favorite moments so far in his career. He also enjoys volunteering in the community with the youth and being a source of encouragement for them. 

  This season, FHU will be making the jump from the AMC to the Mid-South Conference. In the AMC, Freed Hardeman was the lone conference member in Tennessee, therefore the team had to travel out of state for every conference road game. In the MSC, FHU will join in-state conference opponents Bethel, Martin Methodist, and Cumberland.

  “I’m excited to know that we’ll be able to play closer which will allow more fans to travel and support us.” “We appreciate our fans and their support!” “As far as the play, there’s a lot of talent in the MSC and I’m excited for that challenge this year.” Martin said.

  A polished 3-point shooter, Martin made 92 shots from distance last season. Entering his senior year, Kortland needs 76 more 3-pointers to break the career record at FHU. With everything in question right now because of COVID-19, Kortland just hopes a season is possible. However, when the time comes he feels he is ready to lead the FHU team and compete in the MSC.

  The Lions will return 13 players from last season and as Coach Stutts enters his second year as the head man. Stutts plans to build on last year’s success and make a statement in the MSC. Be on the lookout for Kortland Martin to be a key part of the team’s success next season!

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About Jeremy Wright

Jeremy is a senior, public relations/marketing major at Freed-Hardeman University. He's in his first year as a contributor for www.naiahoopsreport.com.

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