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September 14, 2012Tweet
St. John's head coach Steve Lavin completed his elite and diversified staff on Friday with the official addition of assistant coach Darrick Martin.
Martin's addition gives Lavin's staff a third member with NBA coaching experience (Hines, Golden State, 2005-06 to 2009-10; Special Assistant Gene Keady, Toronto, 2005-06). Martin, a 13-year NBA point guard, comes to St. John's after two seasons as an assistant coach and player development specialist with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Martin, an elite-level standout on the hardwood from high school to the professional ranks - who was coached by Lavin in 1991-92 when Lavin was an assistant at UCLA - will be looked to by Lavin to assist in mentoring St. John's young and talented backcourt.
"I have known Darrick personally for more than 20 years, and our staff is pleased he has chosen to become a member of the Johnnies basketball family. With our current team being one of the youngest in school history, the timing is ideal for Darrick to join forces with our staff to assist in our efforts to return St. John's to college basketball prominence," said Lavin. "Darrick had an outstanding playing career, including 13 years of NBA experience as a point guard. Following his diverse playing experience at the highest levels of basketball, he has transitioned seamlessly into a coaching career. Darrick is a natural teacher who possesses the knowledge and patience necessary to develop young players of this generation."
"I am really excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Lavin, our staff and student-athletes," said Martin. "There is a huge comfort level for me, having played for Coach Lavin and knowing Rico Hines coming in. I have met the staff and I am looking forward to working with this talented roster, and helping the student-athletes develop on and off the court."
"Darrick has a great basketball mind and is an excellent student and teacher of the game. He's a bona fide gym rat who is dedicated to achieving greatness," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson, a five-time NBA World Champion, three-time NBA MVP, 1992 Dream Team Olympic gold medalist and longtime friend and mentor of Martin's. "If any student-athletes are serious about hitting it hard and improving their game, Darrick Martin is their man!"
While a member of the Timberwolves' staff, Martin, 41, worked closely with elite NBA players such as Kevin Love and Al Jefferson under the tutelage of former head coach Kurt Rambis. In his role, Martin was responsible for assisting in the development of the team's backcourt players, scouting opponents, game planning and preparation and leading team practices and walk-throughs.
During Martin's tenure, Love was named the 2010-11 NBA Most Improved Player and was also selected to the 2011 NBA All Star team. Martin had players named to the NBA All-Rookie second team in both of his years with the Timberwolves, in Jonny Flynn (2010) and Wesley Johnson in (2011).
"Darrick Martin will be a tremendous asset to the St John's basketball team in all areas including recruiting. He has an exceptional basketball mind and patient teaching skills that will significantly help in the growth and development of St John's young student-athletes," said Rambis, an eight-time NBA world champion. "In addition, he possesses a unique personality that will help him easily relate to everyone at the University."
"Darrick Martin is an outstanding hire by Steve Lavin. He is familiar with Lavin and his system and brings great experience to the sidelines from a longstanding NBA career," said Hall of Fame ESPN College Basketball analyst Dick Vitale. "I think he's a great addition for St. John's."
During a 13-year playing career in the NBA, Martin saw time at the point guard position for the Timberwolves (1994-95, 2004-05), the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), the Los Angeles Clippers (1996-99, 2005), the Sacramento Kings (1999-2001), the Dallas Mavericks (2001), the Denver Nuggets (2002) and the Toronto Raptors (2005-08). Over the course of his career, Martin appeared in 514 games, including 178 starts. His per game averages included 17.8 minutes, 6.9 points, and 2.9 assists while shooting 34 percent from long-range and 84 percent from the free throw line. His most-prolific seasons on the NBA hardwood were with the Clippers in 1996-97, when he averaged 10.9 points and 4.1 assists, and 1997-98, when he averaged 10.3 points with 4.1 assists. He spent one season with the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters in 2003.
Martin's playing career was marked with numerous playoff stops. Martin helped the Kings reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons, his only two with the team. In 2001, Martin's final season with the team, the Kings won their first playoff series in more than twenty years. The last time the Kings had won a playoff series; the team was located in Kansas City. Martin also made a playoff run during the 2004 season with the Timberwolves, who earned the first seed in the Western Conference after registering a 58-24 record. They would reach the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Martin would end his career with consecutive first round playoff appearances with the Raptors (2007, 2008).
Through his playing and coaching careers, Martin has been extensively involved in charitable work. In 1996 he founded the Darrick Martin Basketball and Books Camp for student-athletes ages seven to 17, and he has been involved in several service projects with the Cochran Avenue Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
Martin posted a 3.0 grade point average while earning a bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA in 1992, with Lavin serving as an assistant coach under head coach Jim Harrick for Martin's senior season. While at UCLA, Martin started at point guard, averaging 9.3 career points and 4.9 assists in four years and career-high season averages of 11.6 points per game 6.8 assists as a junior. He led the Bruins to NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in 1989, '90 and '92, including a berth to the Elite Eight in 1992. Martin completed his collegiate career with 636 assists, which still rank third all-time in UCLA history, and 179 steals, which still tie for sixth all-time.
A native of Denver, Colo., his family moved to Compton, Calif., where Martin was a standout scholar-athlete at St. Anthony's High School in nearby Long Beach. As a junior he averaged a Long Beach high school record 36.0 points per game before being named a McDonald's and Parade High School All-American as a senior.
The Darrick Martin File
2009-11 Minnesota Timberwolves, Assistant Coach/Player Development
2012-present St. John's University, Assistant Coach
• UCLA (1988-92)
• Minnesota Timberwolves (1994-95, 2004-05)
• Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96)
• Los Angeles Clippers (1996-99, 2005)
• Sacramento Kings (1999-2001)
• Dallas Mavericks (2001)
• Denver Nuggets (2002)
• Toronto Raptors (2005-08)
• Education: UCLA (1992), B.S. in political science
• Date of Birth: March 6, 1971 in Denver, Colo.
• Family: Wife - Gloria. Children - Joseph (14) and Bailey (12)
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