There are a few schools that when they come calling you stop dead in your tracks. There are a few schools that make you jump for joy. You know those schools that have a certain cache. They carry more weight than other places. These are the schools that are selective and kids know the road to these school are hard but priceless. There are three so called academic conferences in the country. The Ivy League, the PATRIOT LEAGUE and the University Athletic Association ( UAA) are the premier academic conferences in the country. What separates these conferences from every other conference in America is that they have managed to combine a high level of academics and athletics. EMORY UNIVERSITY Is one of the schools that plays in the UAA. KATHERINE MARTINI is one of those people who will be playing in the UAA, that’s because this weekend she gave Head Coach Misha Jackson a verbal commitment to EMORY UNIVERSITY.👍👏🏀
Four years ago everyone was shocked that Molly Weiss, turned down multiple Division One offers to attend Emory University. This past year many were shocked when Chloe Teter did the same thing to attend NYU. But the UAA is different and kids know this and it’s why there are so many talented players in the conference. This is no ordinary Division 3 conference. This is the best D3 conference in the country. This is a conference loaded with D1 players and teams. Coaches know if you want to win the UAA you can’t win the league unless your team is a D3 team in name only. They know in the UAA the travel and home courts are rough on teams. Katherine Martini is stepping into the lion’s den. She understands this and has been preparing for this moment. First she knew she had to do the work academically. There is no back door to Emory University. There are no good students, everyone is a great student. You compete in the classroom and on the basketball court. The two go hand and hand at EMORY. They take there sports very seriously at Emory. If you think I’m exaggerating, how does 29 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS, 206 UAA TITLES, 192 ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS, 121 NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARS and oh yeah a Maccabi game, American representative by the name of Molly Weiss, grab you? Katherine Martini is ready for all this and more because she expects more from herself always. That’s because nothing has ever been a free ride for Katherine Martini and grinding and having to work is all she has ever known.
When Katherine Martini arrived at Holmdel High school as a 6’0” skinny freshman. Most did not know what to expect, there was no expectations. She played JV and basically sat the bench for varsity. But she did something that should have been a hint as to want was about to follow. Katherine Martini worked and worked and put time into her game. It why she quietly tripled her stats as a sophomore, something few noticed. She also came off the bench and scored two of the biggest points in the school’s history in a win over Top 5 RBC. A game which saw the sophomore score 8 points, play great defense and prove she could be special one day. Katherine Martini has been beating the odds it’s seems forever….I guess we should start calling her “SPECIAL K”
Katherine Martini, goes to shoot everyday at hoop group. She also gets to the gym and hits the weight room. She’s does all the little things in order to become a better player over the years. So last year when Covid hit, it hurt her more than must kids. It disrupted her grind, her development. It could have even ruined her commitment to the game and broke her spirit. Like everyone she played a shortened high school season. Holmdel went 10-5 and she had a productive season. But Katherine Martini wanted so much more. So first she joined the 2023 Shoreshots and then she accelerated her training. It’s seemed Katherine Martini was everywhere last spring and summer. She was now 6’3” confident and ready for a big summer and that’s exactly what happened. Playing on the powerhouse 2023 Shoreshots HGSL U17 gave her the exposure she needed. But more importantly by playing lights out, Martini caught the eye of college coaches. Everyone knew how skilled Katherine Martini was for her size. They knew could shoot the three and was a next level passer. But it was the rebounding that made coaches sit up. Martini elevated her status as a player with the Shoreshots by providing she could do more than score. She showed she was a complete player and the coaches started to call and express interest.💯👏👏👍
This summer things got dicey for Katherine Martini when she sprained her ankle. The doctors told she was most likely done for the summer, many worried if she was done period. But what doctors didn’t understand was how far Katherine had come over the years. She simply was not ready to pack it in during her last summer of AAU. So somehow Katherine Martini found her way back to the Shoreshots. Most kids would have shut it down. But most kids are not Katherine Martini. It might be the biggest reason she is off to Emory… because failure has never been a option for Katherine. She has learned this from her parents.🏀🏀🔥
When the Hoop Group Academic Elite took place. College coaches were all excited to see Katherine Martini one more time. The problem was her father was rushed to the hospital that day. It forced Katherine to miss the event. It was disappointing but if the truth be told. Katherine Martini was now established. She had D1 schools calling and asking her to visit. She also had Emory clearly in her sights. Katherine Martini has spent so much time beating the odds it almost incredible when you think about it. Yet it seems she has always come out standing tall and with a smile…. It’s why she seems to always find a way to win, even in the worst of times.💪🏀
I got a phone call from Tracey Sabino, she said “what in the world is Katherine waiting on?” She asked me if I have spoken to Katherine Martini? I told no I had not. But truth be told, I’ve known Coach Jackson for 6 years. I know the type program she runs. She flys up from Atlanta every year to attend Academic Elite. My trust in her is total. So while Katherine Martini visited D1 schools I wondered… I too wondered…. “want is she waiting on”. Emory is that rare opportunity. I thought with so many kids on the Shoreshots going D1 maybe Katherine, felt it was something she had to do as well. But then last Saturday I got a text. “I am committing to Emory”. I was so happy for Katherine Martini. I asked her when she was going to announce. Her response “Tiny, Rosie is going to announce, I don’t want to take away from her day” folks now you understand why Katherine Martini belongs at Emory… she is way more than a basketball player. She is a friend, teammates, student, a great daughter and an AMAZING PERSON.🙏
Emory Head Coach, Misha Jackson, is a wonderful coach and person. She is the type of person you want your daughter to play for. Katherine Martini is the type of kid you want to coach. This is a match made in Heaven. Coach Jackson may not know this, but by the time Kathrine Martini plays her last game at Emory, she is going to be one of the best players on her roster. That’s because Katherine Martini is getting better and better everyday and that won’t change at Emory. She is a hard worker and a person who will always be the last to surrender… I have family in Atlanta and when I go to visit next summer. I am going to stop in on my friend Coach Jackson and together we going to have a MARTINI TOAST... congratulations to Katherine Martini and EMORY UNIVERSITY 👏👏👏🏀