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Girls basketball player has all the right moves



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

CANFIELD -- Erin Martin is always on the move, and that's just the way she likes it.

That's been the lifestyle of the Canfield High senior, who is already planning her next move -- to Cleveland, where she will play basketball for the Cleveland State Vikings next season.

But to appreciate Martin's growth into a Division I college player and a well-rounded person, you must understand her past.

Born in New Mexico, Martin made moves to Illinois, Virginia, South Carolina, Virginia (again), Florida, California and finally Ohio.

"We've lived all over," Martin said. "It's a great experience because you learn to interact with people and get to know people of all different types."

Settled down: After her father started a job at Youngstown State, Martin settled down in Canfield as a sophomore.

"She's very adaptable," Canfield coach Pat Pavlansky said. "I'm glad she spent three years here. That's a long time for her in one spot."

Like she had done so many times in previous towns, Martin adjusted to her new home in Canfield. But it wasn't easy.

Martin's freshman year was spent at an all-girls Catholic school in Fullerton, Calif., 45 minutes outside Los Angeles.

"It was definitely an interesting adjustment," Martin said of coming to Ohio. "Canfield's a small town and everybody knows each other. It's really a good environment to go to high school in."

Over the past three years, Martin has honed her basketball skills while drawing the attention of college coaches.

The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 19 points per game as a junior and helped lead the Cardinals to the Div. II state championship game.

Coaches call: After that season, in which she was named to the state's all-tournament team, college coaches started to call.

"It's nice to win, but I like to go out and do personally better each time and be proud of myself when I leave the floor," Martin said.

"She's done a nice job figuring out when's the best time to score and when's the best time to pass," Pavlansky said. "She can do a lot of different things out there."

Martin chose Cleveland State for two main reasons -- to be near a big city again and to reunite with a coach she knows.

"[Canfield] is a great town, but I really need the excitement and the things to do" in a big city, Martin said. "I need that adrenaline."

At Cleveland State, Martin will play under Duffy Burns, a former assistant coach at Central Connecticut State, where her sister Paige played.

"I've known him since I was 10 years old," Martin said. "He's always kept track of me, and he's been really supportive of me. I knew I could trust him as a coach and that he would take care of me."

Adjustment: Martin, who plans to major in industrial psychology, may get to play as a freshman, but she knows Div. I basketball will take yet another adjustment on her part.

"To play in Division I, you have to be able to do a lot of things well," she said.

Martin will return to the Valley. As a member of the Horizon League, Cleveland State makes a trip to Youngstown State once a year.

"You'll see me there," Martin said. "Hopefully they won't be booing me too badly."

richesson@vindy.com




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