Martin Still Leading, Inspiring Lopes’ Winning Ways

Following Friday night’s hard-fought 78-74 Western Athletic Conference Tournament semi-final win over Utah Valley, Grand Canyon is again nearing unchartered waters. A win over conference alpha New Mexico State would punch the Lopes’ first ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament. It would be a fitting end for program staple Gerard Martin who saw his GCU career end following an ACL injury in early February.

“I kinda knew it right away,” Martin explained to Sports360AZ.com of the injury. “So I went and got an MRI and found out that day…gut-wrenching but can’t do much about it now. Just gotta be positive to the guys.”

Positive would be an understatement.

Martin is not only a leader, he’s a focused, driven motivator. The fifth-year senior, who also suffered an ACL injury his first year in the program, is a constant presence everywhere in and around the program.

“He’s such a good kid and he’s always been there for the guys,” head coach Dan Majerle said after GCU’s win over UVU. “He’s there for us. He’s always talking. He’s always got different things to say. He’s a big part of why we’re here even though he’s not playing.”

Well, not playing yet. Although his GCU career came to a premature end, the game he loves may still be in his future.

“That’s the goal,” he said with a smile. “Hopefully I can get back to playing the way I was. I’m going to try to play professionally in Australia. 

If not, Majerle insists Martin would make an exceptional coach.

After all, basketball is in his blood.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.