A history lesson from Fabulous Flournoy was all it needed to persuade Scott Martin to become the Newcastle Eagles’ first signing of 2013.
As captain of Notre Dame for the last two years, the 24-year-old will arrive on Tyneside with an impressive pedigree.
But it is his new club’s background which has got him excited about the move.
“I did not know much about the Eagles before this process began,” Martin admitted yesterday. “But after having a great conversation with (Eagles player-coach) Fab I was immediately comfortable and excited about the opportunity. The Eagles have seen a lot of success in their history and that really drew me toward them even more.
“I feel like I can learn a lot about the game and improve mine while I’m a member of the team and I am excited to begin that process.
“I have a few friends that have visited England before and they all only have great things to say, so I am excited to have this opportunity and cannot wait to get over there and start the season.”
Last season was a bit of an anomaly for the Eagles, losing the clean sweep of British Basketball League trophies in their possession last year – three of the four to Leicester Riders. So the 6ft 8in forward is clear in what he has come to do.
“My hopes for the upcoming season are simply to help the team in any way I can,” he said. “Winning is the most important thing and I want to do whatever the team asks of me to get that done.”
Martin was ranked in America’s top 100 high-school graduate players, and voted to the All Big East tournament team in 2012. “Being able to attend and play basketball at Notre Dame was truly an honour for me,” said the Indiana native, who joined from Purdue University in 2008.
“I had the privilege of playing for a great programme and a great coach in Mike Brey. I enjoyed my time there and am thankful to all the people that helped me while I was there.”
His college career was ended by a knee injury picked up last season.
Martin missed the 2009-10 campaign with anterior cruciate ligament damage, and went under the knife again last season to remove scar tissue. He is now back in training and the Eagles are confident he will play a full part in the season.
Flournoy is excited to add Martin – scorer of 1,048 points in 116 career games – to his roster, but is not planning a massive overhaul after the disappointment of an injury-hit 2012-13.
“All that’s needed is a few tweaks,” said the New Yorker. “We were top of the league throughout last year and we just came up short at the end. We were runners-up in the (BBL) Cup and the play-offs. We didn’t win anything but it wasn’t that bad.
“Maybe I could have got a bit more out of the players but it wasn’t that the skillset wasn’t there.
“Me and my assistant, Dave Forrester, were talking about it and we agreed if we ran the clock back we still would have signed the same players.
“Each player was brought in to do a specific job and to be honest they did those jobs. In some aspects we all could have done a little bit more. Overall there’s not much I could have done differently.”
Martin is expected to report for the first day of pre-season training, on September 1. He is set to make his BBL debut at home to Durham Wildcats after the 2013-14 fixture list was announced yesterday.