Martin; Defensive Energy off the Bobcat Bench

Martin; Defensive Energy off the Bobcat Bench

BUCKHANNON -- Mykenzie Martin is a sparkplug off the Bobcat bench. 

 
A 5'5" junior from Canvas, West Virginia, the guard is a product of Nicholas County High School. Martin has remained with the program through its rebuilding efforts, and is now with the group as the team is back in the upper half of the Mountain East Conference.
 
Back at NCHS, Martin was a multi-sport star. With her background in soccer and track as well as basketball, she made her mark for the Lady Grizzlies. 
 
In soccer, she was a Class AA All-State midfielder, and twice led the squad into regional play. In basketball, she was a standout guard, and helped lead the team to States her sophomore year. With several years of experience with travel teams in each sport, she was catching to eyes of recruiters.
 
"Originally, my plan was to play soccer on the college level, but the more I got into the process, I began to look more and more at my basketball options," Martin said. 
 
Her choices eventually narrowed down to Wesleyan and Glenville. Martin's sister Madison had just finished an impressive athletic career at GSC in both basketball and track, so they were the early front runner.
 
In October of 2014, Martin applied to Wesleyan when Bobcat Track Coach Jesse Skiles visited NCHS.  Skiles was there to see hurdler Elizabeth Messer (a good friend of Martin's), but he spoke to Martin as well about a potential visit. With weeks, Martin was set up to visit the school as a guest to then basketball head coach Mike Bari. While Messer would eventually sign with Glenville, Martin chose another path.
 
"When I did the visit with Coach Bari, I fell in love with the school," Martin said. "It is  beautiful campus, and I felt very welcomed by the team and coaching staff."
 
After signing with Wesleyan, she was also joined by her sister Madison, who served as an assistant coach during the 2015-16 campaign. In that first season, Martin averaged 12 minutes a game as a true freshman, scoring 42 points for the season and dishing out 41 assists. She appeared in all 27 games, starting two.
 
"That freshman year was pretty neat," Martin said. "Having Madison as a coach, she was truly like a mom to me that year in a lot of ways. We also had a lot of new girls that came in together, and it was a very young team."
 
With new head coach Vicky Bullett on board for the 2016-17 season, Martin played a larger role. She again appeared in all 26 games, and started eight. She averaged 19 minutes per contest, scoring 55 points and handing out 45 assists.
 
This season, she has appeared in all seven games, and the Lady Bobcats are off to their best start in several years. As of December 8th, they were 4-3 overall, and 3-2 in the Mountain East Conference. They are sitting alone in the fifth spot of the 12-team league.
 
For Martin, it remains about giving Bullett and her staff quality minutes when she is called upon, and for bringing energy during her playing time.  Her durability is also impeccable, she has appeared in all 60 games of her Wesleyan career.
 
"My role is to come in and bring some aggressiveness on the defensive end," Martin said. "We take a lot of pride as a unit is being able to have athletes that come off the bench and give some quality minutes."
 
"Coach Bullett has challenged the older players to be better leaders this season...I feel like we have a team that works really well together," Martin said. 
 
After college, Martin is hoping to utilize her Business Administration degree. While she intends to potentially go south, perhaps in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, she also wants to explore the world of coaching as a first option.
 
"I cannot myself ever not being passionate about the game," Martin said. "I am going to be proactive in looking for a coaching position. Maybe a high school job is out there, or maybe an assistant job on the college level."
 
For the little sparkplug from the hamlet of Canvas, West Virginia, she would be an energetic coach for any program.