Martin is Walker’s freshman phenom

Fred Jeter | 2/22/2024, 6 p.m.
Jamie Martin has been sunshine in a cloudy season for Maggie Walker Governor’s School basketball. It’s almost unfair. She’s so ...
Jamie Martin

Jamie Martin has been sunshine in a cloudy season for Maggie Walker Governor’s School basketball.

It’s almost unfair. She’s so talented, so savvy, so confident … and she’s only a 14-year-old freshman.

“We had an extremely young and inexperienced team this season,” said Green Dragons Coach Speedy Baughman. “Jamie had to do it all, at times.”

Wearing jersey No. 20, she averaged 19 points per game while adding about five rebounds, five steals and four assists per outing.

It’s hard listing a position for Martin because she was here, there and everywhere for the Lombardy Street squad – sort of a hurricane in green shoes.

Still, the very young Dragons (no JV team) were 7-14 and failed to make the Class 3 Region playoffs.

In a rarity of all rarities, the 5-foot-9 freshman was named team captain.

“People think of a captain as being older and stronger,” Martin said. “But I feel like I can play older and be as strong as upperclassmen.”

“Walker, at least in the last 18 years, has never had anyone do anything like that,” Baughman said.

In her freshman finale, Martin, always on the attack, poured in 28 points in a tense 53-51 loss to Colonial Heights at Walker’s second-floor gym.

Earlier this season Martin had 40 points – likely a school record — in a loss to Amelia.

“I’m happy with my freshman season,” Martin said. “But I’m most proud of how our team has improved from Game 1 to Game 20.”

Foul: Coaches unfazed by man’s rudeness

Loudmouth fan needs to check his manners - The Maggie Walker girls are blessed with perhaps the most experienced coaching staff in the area.

Head Coach Speedy Baughman and assistants Ray Copple and Rick Brennan have roughly 70 seasons worth of knowledge drawing up X’s and O’s.

Still, not everyone is satisfied.

At the Green Dragons’ final home game Feb. 13, one spectator raised his voice loud enough for many to hear in the small confines. As Walker players were breaking huddle in the closing moments of a tight game, the unidentified man blurted out, “Whatever they (coaches) say, do the opposite.”

It was uncalled for. Safe to say, the Walker coaches know more about basketball than anyone in the stands.

Martin is the daughter of Jermaine and Kelly Martin of New Kent County.

Jermaine, who serves as team videographer, is a former gymnast at Thornton High in Chicago while Kelly was a cheerleader at Eleanor Roosevelt High in Prince George’s County, Md.

It’s not an easy commute to school. Martin takes two buses from her home to Walker each morning.

“It’s hard, but it’s worth it,” she said. “This school is awesome.”

Martin is much more than a basketball player and star student. She also served as the setter on the Dragons’ volleyball club and hopes to make an impact this spring in track and field.

While an adept sprinter, her specialty is pole vaulting. That comes as welcome news to Walker Hall of Fame coach Jim Holdren, a renowned tutor of all events, including the vault.

Also, this spring she will play AAU travel hoops with Foundation Academy and volleyball with a youth team in New Kent.

Expect the Dragons to surge next season, with returnees such as smallish but determined guard Lois Hodges and center Makayla Williams, who boasts perhaps the area’s broadest shoulders and longest dreads.

And then there will be Martin. She brings the sunshine.