Martin steps out of father's shadow

Chris Martin is a rising, talented 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior guard at St. John's College High School (SJHC) in Washington, D.C., where he plays for respected veteran head coach Paul DeStefano, but longtime college basketball fans might recognize Martin as the son of former Georgetown University forward William Martin.

The SJHC Cadet hoops program is a perennial prep power and plays in the ultra-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), where Chris Martin averaged 14.5 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals per game as a sophomore. In 2007-08, he averaged 12 points a game.

A strong, athletic, cerebral player, Martin has played both the point guard and wing guard position for DeStefano.

"I prefer the point guard position," Martin told ESPNRISE.com. "I like to run the offense and be a leader. If I don't get much taller, the point will probably be my best position in college, but I also can shoot and be a scorer and I like playing the 2 [wing guard] when I have to. I'll basically play wherever the team needs me, as long as we win."

Martin is already drawing recruiting interest from a wide range of Division I colleges.

"I'm hearing from Villanova, Seton Hall, Clemson, Xavier, George Mason, Wake Forest," Martin said. "I'm really wide open right now. I'm still just going into my junior year. I'm looking for a good academic school with a good coach and a good basketball tradition and program."

More than 20 years before the younger Martin donned a Cadets uniform, his father William Martin was an outstanding forward at Georgetown from 1981-85. He played with Patrick Ewing on coach John Thompson's 1984 national championship team and went on to play in the NBA for three years. Martin had been an All-Met player at McKinley High School in Washington, DC.

Is Martin often reminded about his famous father by old-school D.C. area hoops fans?

"I hear some of that," he said, laughing. "I mean, people remember my father as a great player at Georgetown. But he was 6-8 and a forward and I'm a 6-1, 6-2 guard so our games are different. I'm proud to be compared to him. I learned a lot from my dad. I still am learning from him."

St. John's looks to have a pretty talented team in 2009-10 with Martin and talented junior swingman Julian Debose being legitimate All-WCAC candidates. Martin plans on being one of the leaders of this young team.

"Even though I'm not a senior, I'm a two-year varsity starter already and I have a lot of experience in this system and program," Martin said. "I think we can be a top WCAC team this year. We have a great coach and some real good players and we play well together."

Chris Martin also figures to be a legitimate All-Met candidate for the next two seasons, and a highly recruited prospect in the Maryland/DC area Class of 2011.

James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com.