Luke Martinez was a star for the Williston State Tetons. In the 2009-10 season, Martinez’s sophomore year, he led the Tetons to a 25-7 record, ranking 25th in the NJCAA with 19.7 points, earning Second Team All-American honors.
When his time was up with the Tetons, he moved on to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo.
The scenery may have changed, but his scoring ability hasn’t.
In two seasons with the Wyoming Cowboys, Martinez has averaged 12.1 points-per-game.
Last season, he won the MVP award of the Jim Thorpe Classic, a Thanksgiving tournament.
“I’m pretty steady with everything,” said Martinez in an interview with the Herald on Friday afternoon. “There’s always room for improvement, and I’m never satisfied with anything, so I’m always looking to make the next move and improve my game.”
With two years of NCAA eligibility left after leaving Williston State, Martinez suffered a broken left elbow that kept him out of the 2010-11 season.
Martinez said it was tough for him to sit out his first year with the Cowboys, but it also helped him get a grasp on the game.
“I thought I was ready at that time,” said Martinez. “It was devastating, but I looked at it as blessing in disguise. It was good to sit out a year and learn the system and what Division 1 basketball was actually like.”
Now with one full season under his belt, Martinez said the biggest difference between junior college basketball and D-1 basketball is the mental approach to the game.
“You have to be coming in prepared,” said Martinez. “First of all, knowing you can do it and are capable of doing it. After that, the physical part comes in. It’s very physical and a lot more fast paced than junior college.”
After grabbing the spotlight at Williston State, Martinez said he had a lot of offers from different colleges, but Wyoming felt like the best fit for him.
“I had a lot of low and mid-major programs contact me,” said Martinez. “When I heard from Wyoming, I kind of had my mind set.”
Martinez is in his final year of the social science program at Wyoming. He will graduate in the spring, and will weigh his options when deciding on what his next move will be.
“I’m wide open,” Martinez said. “I’m up for anything, and whatever comes my way, I’m going to grab that opportunity.”
Martinez was in action for the Cowboys Saturday night, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine rebounds in a 76-69 upset of the No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes in Laramie.