Cam Martin returns as a national champion, helps teach and inspire local athletes

Martin was a 3X All-American at Missouri Southern before transferring to KU

FRONTENAC, Ks. – Cam Martin returns to the area this weekend with some of his current KU teammates to help coach the All-Area Fantasy Basketball Camp in Frontenac. Martin spent three years of his college basketball career in Joplin at Missouri Southern. He finished his time at Southern with more than 2,000 career points and is a 3X All-American.

“It’s great coming back and seeing familiar faces and seeing how happy we make these kids and just the difference we make in the community,” Martin says. “It’s important to be a role model to these kids and give them someone they can look up to. I remember when I was younger and was going to camps and looking up to the players and wanted to be like them one day. This is full circle. It’s surreal being able to do this for the community.”

Martin has dealt with adversity throughout his career. After dislocating his knee is high school, he started his college career at Jacksonville State. Then, he spent three years at Southern before transferring to Kansas. He redshirted last year and has one year of eligibility remaining.

“I hope my path shows that you should never stop believing you can do it,” Martin says. “Always bet on yourself and believe in yourself. Hard work wins.”

Despite the nontraditional path, Martin is exactly where he’s supposed to be.

“It all happened for a reason,” Martin says. “Looking back on it and seeing everything I went through and all the adversity I fought through, I’m just glad it all worked out how it did. There’s no place I’d rather be than the University of Kansas. There’s great history, there’s been fantastic players, so it’s just an honor to be a part of the team.”

He says the transition from Missouri Southern to Kansas has been a “good adjustment.”

“In Joplin, it’s a smaller city,” Martin says. “Everybody knows everybody, so you make more personal connections. At Kansas, we have fans in Orlando, New York and overseas. The University of Kansas is definitely more global whereas it’s a more tight knit community in Joplin.”

Martin’s continued perseverance has now earned him a national championship.

“It was a great year,” Martin says. “We had a lot of good experiences. Getting to experience the tournament and obviously being a national champion, not many people can say they did that.”

His advice to aspiring basketball players:

“Hard work,” Martin says. “Hard work is undefeated. You’re going to go through adversity, everybody does, but keep pushing through and follow your dreams.”