Damian Martin

Damian Patrick Martin (born 5 September 1984) is an Australian professional basketball player for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). After four years of college basketball for Loyola Marymount, Martin began his NBL career in 2007 with the West Sydney Razorbacks. In 2009, he made the move to Perth to join the Wildcats, where he went on to become a six-time NBL champion and six-time NBL Best Defensive Player. He is considered one of the NBL's all-time best defenders.[1]

Damian Martin
Damian Martin 8.jpg
Martin in March 2017
No. 53 – Perth Wildcats
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1984-09-05) 5 September 1984 (age 35)
Gloucester, New South Wales
Listed height186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Listed weight92 kg (203 lb)
Career information
High schoolGloucester
(Gloucester, New South Wales)
Lake Ginninderra (Canberra, ACT)
CollegeLoyola Marymount (2003–2007)
NBA draft2007 / Undrafted
Playing career2002–present
Career history
2002–2003Australian Institute of Sport
2007–2009West Sydney Razorbacks / Sydney Spirit
2009Parramatta Wildcats
2009–presentPerth Wildcats
2010East Perth Eagles
Career highlights and awards

Early life and careerEdit

As a 15-year-old at the NSW Institute of Sport, Martin was influenced by future and long-time mentor Rob Beveridge to concentrate on basketball rather than rugby league, a move that set Martin on the path to his greatest personal achievement – winning a gold medal with the Australian national junior team under Beveridge and alongside the likes of Andrew Bogut at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.[2][3] In 2002 and 2003, Martin attended the Australian Institute of Sport and played for the program's SEABL team.[4][5]

Between 2003 and 2007, Martin played three seasons of NCAA Division I college basketball for Loyola Marymount University. After a successful freshman and sophomore seasons, he was forced to redshirt the 2005–06 season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered while playing with the national team. He returned to the Lions in 2006–07. In his three seasons for LMU, he played 88 games (69 starts) and averaged 4.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game,[6] and was a West Coast Conference All-Freshmen team honouree in 2003–04.[7]

Professional careerEdit

West Sydney Razorbacks / Sydney SpiritEdit

In 2007, Martin returned to his home state and signed with the West Sydney Razorbacks of the National Basketball League. Ten games into the 2007–08 season, Martin suffered a season-ending knee injury.[8] He continued on with the club for the 2008–09 season, with their new name being the Sydney Spirit.[9] The Spirit were in dire financial straits during the 2008–09 season, with the 10 contracted players and three coaches, including head coach Rob Beveridge, all agreeing to live off just $150,000 between them to keep the franchise going—roughly $700 per week for Martin. Furthermore, Martin played much of the season with a broken wrist, an injury that occurred during the pre-season tournament. The injury should have sidelined him immediately, but in December 2008, it was noted that Martin didn't want to make a fuss because he put the team first and himself second.[10]

Perth WildcatsEdit

Martin in April 2014, at the Wildcats' championship ceremony

Following the demise of the Sydney Spirit, Martin followed Beveridge west, where the pair joined the Perth Wildcats for the 2009–10 NBL season.[11] Martin saw immediate success, helping the Wildcats win the championship in his first season. In 2011, he won the NBL Best Defensive Player Award for the first time and was named to the All-NBL First Team. Over the ensuing three seasons, he won three more Best Defensive Player awards,[12][13][14] was named to the All-NBL Team every year, and helped the Wildcats reach three straight grand finals, winning his second championship in 2014. He missed the 2013 grand final series with a partial tear of his Achilles tendon,[15] an injury that he suffered during the semi-final series.[16] In January 2013, Martin was named co-captain of the Wildcats alongside Shawn Redhage.[17] In October 2013, he was named the sole captain of the Wildcats.[18]

2014–15 seasonEdit

On 14 May 2014, Martin re-signed with the Wildcats on a two-year deal (with the option of a third).[19] On 24 October 2014, he recorded nine steals in the Wildcats' 84–63 win over the Sydney Kings, the second most by an individual in the club's history; Ricky Grace recorded 10 in 1990.[20] He was subsequently named Player of the Week for round three.[21] On 31 December 2014, in an 86–77 win over the Wollongong Hawks, Martin played his 200th NBL game.[22][23] In March 2015, Martin was named the NBL's Best Defensive Player for the fifth consecutive year.[1]

2015–16 seasonEdit

On 4 November 2015, Martin suffered a broken jaw and missing teeth following an errant elbow from Townsville Crocodiles forward Brian Conklin.[24] He returned to action by the end of the month, despite originally being ruled out for three weeks.[25] In February, he played his 200th game for the Wildcats,[26][27] and in March, he won his third NBL championship and was named Grand Final MVP.[28][29][30]

2016–17 seasonEdit

Martin, who became a four-time NBL champion in 2017, is a Perth Wildcats fan favourite.[31]

On 2 June 2016, Martin signed a new three-year deal with the Wildcats.[32] Two months later, Martin made his Olympic debut for the Australian Boomers at the 2016 Rio Olympics.[33]

On 23 October 2016, Martin recorded a career-high 13 rebounds in a 72–69 win over Melbourne United.[34][35] During the game, he received a heavy knock to the head, with x-rays revealing a fracture to the left side of his jaw. Consequently, he was ruled out for two weeks of action.[36] He returned after missing just one game, but sustained another injury, this time a grade three MCL tear in his left knee against the Adelaide 36ers on 5 November. He was subsequently ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks.[37] Much like in 2015–16, Martin managed to return from injury earlier than expected, as he joined the playing group for their first game of 2017 on 7 January in Sydney against the Kings. He helped the Wildcats win back-to-back road games for the first time in more than one year, as he picked up a team-high two steals in an 80–74 victory.[38] On 28 January, in his 250th NBL game, Martin scored a season-high 11 points to go with six rebounds and four assists in a 73–71 win over Melbourne.[39] The Wildcats finished the regular season in third place with a 15–13 record, and played the second-seeded Cairns Taipans in the semi-finals, a series the Wildcats swept 2–0. The series sweep advanced the Wildcats into the NBL Grand Final for the sixth time in eight years. In the best-of-five grand final series against the Illawarra Hawks, Martin was superb on defence in Game 1 (limiting the dynamic Rotnei Clarke to just eight shots),[40] hit the scoreboard in Game 2 (scoring 12 points on four three-pointers),[41] and did a bit of everything in Game 3 (three points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals) to lead the Wildcats to a 3–0 series sweep and an eighth NBL championship.[42] Martin collected his fourth championship, as the Wildcats defended their title for the first time since 1990/1991.[43] It was a special championship win according to Martin, due to the team's adversity in 2016–17. The Wildcats slumped to last spot in December (7–9 record) as the team's injury toll started to have a significant impact. Long-term injuries to Martin, Jarrod Kenny and Matt Knight hurt the Wildcats, while early-season import shuffles disrupted the team's cohesiveness. The Wildcats only just scraped through to the finals after beating Melbourne United away in the final round. The victory extended Perth's playoff streak into a record 31st straight season. Martin said in February, "I've been fortunate to be a part of three Championships. If we win it this season, it would mean more to me than any of the other three because of all the adversity we've gone through. It's been such a special season."[44]

2017–18 seasonEdit

The Wildcats started the season 10–3, as they sat atop the ladder following Round 9. On 14 December 2017, Martin was ruled out for a number of games with an ankle injury.[45][46] In the two games he missed, the Wildcats dropped to 10–5; he made his return for the Wildcats' New Year's Eve game against the Cairns Taipans in Cairns.[47] On 4 February 2018, in a loss to the Adelaide 36ers in Adelaide,[48] Martin played his 250th game for the Wildcats.[49] The Wildcats finished the regular season in third place with a 16–12 record. On the eve of the Wildcats' finals campaign, Martin was named the NBL's Best Defensive Player for the 2017–18 season, earning the honour for a record-breaking sixth time.[50] The Wildcats went on to lose in straight sets to the 36ers in the semi-finals.

2018–19 seasonEdit

Martin in March 2019, arriving back in Perth after winning his fifth NBL championship

A left leg injury kept Martin out of pre-season games in September 2018.[51] After helping the Wildcats start the season with a 4–1 record, he was ruled out of the Wildcats' match on 3 November against the Breakers with a low grade tear to his right calf muscle.[51] He subsequently missed six games.[52] The Wildcats reached a 10–1 record before dropping to 12–9 in early January. On 25 January, he recorded 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 100–81 win over the Adelaide 36ers.[53] On 10 February, he recorded 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 95–86 overtime win over the Sydney Kings. He hit a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.[54] The win saw the Wildcats move to a 17–9 record, with coach Trevor Gleeson crediting Martin's form as one of the key reasons for the Wildcats riding a wave of momentum towards the finals.[55] The Wildcats finished with an 18–10 record to claim the minor premiership, before going on to reach their 14th NBL Grand Final series, where they defeated Melbourne United 3–1 to win their ninth championship. Martin and long-time teammate Jesse Wagstaff became the first players in NBL history to win five championships with just one club.[56][57]

2019–20 seasonEdit

On 5 April 2019, Martin re-signed with the Wildcats for the 2019–20 season.[58] In December 2019, he played his 300th game for the Wildcats.[59][60] He missed the entire month of January 2020 with a left heel injury,[61] returning for the final two regular season games.[62][63]


Martin is the son of Anne and Raymond Martin, and has three brothers, Daniel, John and Anthony, and one sister, Beth.[7] Martin and his wife, Brittany,[64] have two daughters.[65][66] His wife's cousin is rugby league player Michael Morgan.[67]


  1. ^ a b NBL Awards: Defensive Player of the Year
  2. ^ Switch from rugby, move to Perth leads Damian Martin to Boomers
  3. ^ Big bucks from the big Buck? Bogut gets into the Spirit to help old mates
  4. ^ "Past Athletes". ausport.gov.au. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Player statistics for Damian Martin – SEABL". SportTG.com. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  6. ^ Damian Martin Stats
  7. ^ a b Damian Martin Bio – Loyola Marymount Official Athletic Site
  8. ^ Hinson keeps Razorbacks in touch of top eight
  9. ^ Sydney Spirit set to be launched
  10. ^ That's the Spirit - Martin plays with broken wrist
  11. ^ Perth Wildcats sign new import
  12. ^ Award-winning Wildcats
  13. ^ Award Winning Wildcats
  14. ^ Martin strengthens claims as NBL's best defender
  15. ^ Damian Martin ruled out of grand final series
  16. ^ Perth Wildcats eliminate Wollongong in thriller
  17. ^ Damian Martin named Perth Wildcats co-captain
  18. ^ Damian Martin named Perth Wildcats captain
  19. ^ "Perth Wildcats re-sign Championship captain". Wildcats.com.au. 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Perth Wildcats smash Sydney Kings at Perth Arena". Wildcats.com.au. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014.
  21. ^ R3: Player of the Week
  22. ^ Damian Martin - 200 NBL Games
  23. ^ R13 Report: Wildcats spoil the party in Wollongong
  24. ^ Damian Martin suffers broken jaw in Townsville Crocodiles v Perth Wildcats NBL clash
  26. ^ Damian Martin 200 Perth Wildcats Games
  28. ^ "PERTH WILDCATS – 2016 NBL CHAMPIONS". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  30. ^ "DAMIAN MARTIN – GRAND FINAL MVP". Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  31. ^ Perth Wildcat's Damian Martin named in 12 man Australian Boomers team ahead of Rio Olympics
  36. ^ "MARTIN, KENNY RULED OUT WITH INJURY". Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  38. ^ "COTTON DELIVERS AS WILDCATS DEFEAT KINGS". Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  43. ^ "PERTH WILDCATS WIN BACK-TO-BACK NBL CHAMPIONSHIPS". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  44. ^ Wildcat Martin hopes for special NBL title
  45. ^ Perth Wildcats skipper Damian Martin sidelined by ankle injury
  46. ^ Damian Martin ruled out
  47. ^ Damian Martin set to return
  48. ^ Wildcats defeated in Adelaide
  49. ^ Damian Martin - 250 Perth Wildcats Games
  50. ^ "Damian Martin wins SIXTH Best Defensive Player award". Wildcats.com.au. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  51. ^ a b "Damian Martin sidelined". Wildcats.com.au. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  52. ^ "Damian Martin still missing for Wildcats". SBS.com.au. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019. Damian Martin has been absent for four games and will miss another two.
  53. ^ "Wildcats vs 36ers". FIBALiveStats.com. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  54. ^ "Cotton Explodes in OT as 'Cats Beat Kings". NBL.com.au. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  55. ^ O'Donoghue, Craig (9 February 2019). "Damian Martin central to Perth Wildcats' momentum swing: Trevor Gleeson". TheWest.com.au. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  56. ^ "Wildcats Clinch Ninth Championship on the Road". NBL.com.au. 17 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  57. ^ "Wildcats claim Ninth Championship!". Wildcats.com.au. 17 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  58. ^ "Wildcats Championship Duo Re-Sign". NBL.com.au. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  59. ^ "Damian Martin to join Wildcats 300 club". Wildcats.com.au. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  60. ^ "Wildcats Keep Winning in Martin's 300th". NBL.com.au. 14 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  61. ^ "Damian Martin Injury Update". Wildcats.com.au. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  62. ^ "Wildcats Lock in Second, Make Bullets' Job Tough". NBL.com.au. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  63. ^ "Bullet-proof Wildcats defeat Brisbane". Wildcats.com.au. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  64. ^ Player Piece: Damo's Dish
  65. ^ Fairytale beckons for Damian Martin and family ahead of NBL Grand Final Game 3
  66. ^ Congrats Skipper! Damian Martin welcomes 2nd Baby Girl

External linksEdit