Although his Memphis career ended weeks ago in the NIT loss to Creighton, Jeremiah Martin took the next step towards his future April 17 night when the Portsmouth Invitational (PIT) tipped off.
The PIT, which is the only postseason camp reserved specifically for seniors, is the longest-running amateur basketball tournament in the United States and is considered one of the best ways for prospects who may have flown under the radar to grab attention from pro scouts and general managers alike.
Martin burst onto the national scene after his scorching-hot February fueled a Tigers late-season surge. While they ultimately came up short, Martin’s loyalty to the city and work ethic cemented his name in program lore forever.
The tournament comprises eight teams, each with eight players. This year’s field includes several notable names, including Bryce Brown from Auburn, Kyle Alexander from Tennessee and Fletcher Magee from Wofford. Many Tigers fans will be also be familiar with Temple’s Shizz Alston Jr., Wichita State’s Markis Mcduffie and Tulsa’s DaQuan Jeffries from American Athletic Conference league play as well.
In his first game as a member of Sales Systems LTD, a 91-89 win over K&D Rounds Landscape Service, Martin finished with 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds. While Martin shot an efficient 6-12 for the contest and played a team-high 34 minutes, it was Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson’s buzzer-beating three that gave Sales Systems the win.
While his team will have Thursday off, their win means they will be back in action Friday against Norfolk Sports Club, which won their opening matchup 87-77 against Roger Brown’s Restaurant & Sports Bar. Norfolk’s roster is led by Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. and Alston Jr. If Sales Systems goes on to win that one, they will secure a spot in Saturday’s championship.
Although participating in the PIT may not guarantee pro success, the numbers from last year’s event must be encouraging for all involved this time around. Of the 64 players from 2018, all of them are playing professionally in some capacity, whether it be in the U.S. or overseas. While Martin may not be in the discussion to be a first-round selection in June, the opportunity to showcase himself is one that the guard will surely be looking to make the most out of.
After the PIT, Martin will then turn his attention to the NBA draft combine in Chicago from May 15 to 19, which will be his other big chance to get his name out there. With the entire NBA world watching, the next few months will be critical in ultimately determining where Jeremiah Martin is playing basketball next year.