1. Martin was named after his father. His full name is Francisco Jose Martin. Martin’s father was Francisco Ceferino Martin.
2. Spanish was Martin’s first language. He became fluent in English by the second grade. “As a kid growing up, my family spoke broken English. My mom spoke English and she went to high school in New Jersey, but my mom worked all day. So I was around my grandma and her sister most of the time, and they spoke Spanish.”
3. Martin’s first car was a hand-me-down Aspen station wagon, with wood paneling on the sides, during his senior year of high school. The first car he bought was a 1982 gray Camaro.
4. The first thing in his life that Martin remembers was his grandma loving the Olympics. She was the athlete in the family. Back then, whenever the Olympics were shown on TV, she made Martin watch it with her. Whatever the event was, they watched it. It was a byproduct of her deep appreciation for the U.S. letting her have a chance to live in the country. “I don’t think there was anyone who loved the United States of America more than her.” The best moment was watching the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” with her. The worst moment was watching the 1972 basketball team (with USC’s Kevin Joyce) get gypped out of a gold medal. “People think I get upset. You should have seen her.”
5. Martin never dreamed of being anything other than one thing when he was growing up. He wanted to be Larry Csonka. “I was slow, I was unathletic, and when I played football, I was hard to bring down. That’s who he was.” Once he got a taste of all of the other jobs in the real world, he realized that he learned something from all of them and that he needed to channel them into sports.
6. The scar under Martin’s right eye isn’t a result of his days working as a bouncer. It’s from when he was 3 years old and he jumped off a chair and landed on an ironworks table. Martin’s face met the corner of it, and he nearly lost his eye. It ripped his face open. He doesn’t recall the stitches he had to get, but he remembers being strapped down at the doctor. “The doctor sticking that needle, right under my eye, that was painful. That was a miserable moment.”
7. Outside of that scar and the ones on his knees from multiple surgeries, he has no other distinguishing marks or tattoos. He did work as a bouncer once upon a time, but never got inked.
8. The recruit that Martin most regrets missing on – Kansas’ Perry Ellis. He and his staff spent four years building a very close relationship with Ellis’ family, and which coincidentally, is from Columbia. They really thought that they were going to get Ellis, who was a Kansas guy that would sign with Kansas State and represent so many things – the bond between family and coaches, staying in-state, showing the growth of K-State’s program. Ellis chose the Jayhawks. “I understood. I wish that somehow we could have turned that worm in a different direction.”
9. Growing up, Martin was a huge fan of Julius Erving. He really wanted a pair of Dr. J sneakers, so he asked his mother to let him work one summer to save money. The then-12-year-old found a job at the local pool hall making change. He earned enough money to get the sneakers, which was a huge upgrade from his usual -- whatever pair of matching shoes he could find at the Army-Navy store.
10. Martin likes nothing more than making people laugh. He’s always joking and pulling pranks. It’s quite a change from his on-court demeanor, but he likes getting people to relax and laugh. His best prank was one he pulled on strength coach Scott Greenawalt. He and Greenawalt were next-door neighbors at Kansas State, but Martin bought a house on the other side of town. He convinced Greenawalt that he sold his house to somebody that Greenawalt didn’t like. Martin egged the gag on for three days, and Greenawalt got more and more angry, until Martin admitted he was pulling Greenawalt’s leg.
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