Tue, Jul. 3, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
BATESVILLE, Ark. - Lyon College head men's basketball coach Kevin Jenkins
inked his fifth player of the off-season on Monday when he signed junior college transfer Stephon Martinez to a letter-of-intent to play for the 2012-13 Scots.
The 21-year old Martinez is a 2009 graduate of North St. Francis High School in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where the 5-9, 170-lb. guard played for the Class 4A Raiders. He also played junior college basketball the past two seasons at Illinois Central College.
"We expect Stephon to contribute immediately at the point in the 2012-13 season," stated Jenkins on Monday. "His ability to create and score make him a valuable asset to the Scots.
"He brings experience and leadership to our team. Stephon is the type of student-athlete we need here at Lyon."
Martinez was a MAAA All-Conference player his senior season at North St. Francis, finishing his senior campaign as the team leader in assists and free throw percentage, while posting a top 5 finish in almost every statistical category.
After selecting Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Ill. to continue his career, Martinez played two years for the Cougars, earning Academic All-American honors during his freshman campaign as ICC posted a 20-win season.
During his sophomore campaign in 2011-12, Martinez played in 29 games, hit 69 percent of his free throws and 31.5 percent of his three-point field goals. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.
In his final season with the Cougars, Illinois Central College averaged 72.9 points per contest, hitting 41.2% of its field goals and 32.3 percent of its shots from beyond the three-point arc.
Martinez said he considered Chadron State College in Nebraska, Culver-Stockton College in northern Missouri and fellow American Midwest Conference member William Woods University before deciding on Lyon College this week.
"I felt I would be a good fit in the Lyon basketball program," Martinez stated. "They had a senior point guard graduating, so I knew I'd have the opportunity to come in and immediately make an impact with the team.
"They also have a super young roster, which means they're going to be getting better and be hungry to win."
Martinez said there was also a draw because of the size of the college and the importance put on academics at Lyon.
"I was drawn to the school for academic reasons," he continued. "Everybody was great to me and I knew they not only wanted to excel in athletics, but in academics as well.
"Going to a small college has its pros and cons. You're definitely not going to have 250 (students) in a lecture hall class and everybody is going to have morning opportunities for one-on-one learning."
Martinez said he plans on majoring in Business Marketing.