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CBSA's Taelon Martin offered by UMass: 2019 Putnam guard receives first Division I college offer

By Tom Westerholm, 06/14/16, 9:00PM EDT


It was only a matter of time before Putnam guard Taelon Martin received his first offer to play basketball for an NCAA Division I school.

For the Springfield native, though, it was appropriate that it came from a local school — Martin picked up an offer from the University of Massachusetts on Tuesday after visiting the campus with several members of Mass Rivals, his AAU team.

Martin said the experience was motivating.

"I was happy, but I have to keep working," he said. "It meant a lot. It gave me more motivation. It makes me want to work hard at everything — school, basketball, everything."

Martin, who will be a sophomore at Putnam next season, said that he wasn't expecting to be offered on the visit, but midway through the visit, his AAU coach called him away from his meal to take a picture in the gym.

"The head coach stopped me and said 'Make sure you tweet out that you got your first scholarship offer,'" Martin said. "I was cheesing. I smile a lot."


He added that interest from a program like UMass is meaningful.

"They have a really good basketball program, and it's a very good academic school," he said. "(Visiting) was a great experience."

UMass picked up a commitment from Springfield-native Chris Baldwin in September and brought in another Springfield native Jaylen Franklin as a preferred walk-on in April. Martin said he appreciated that Kellogg looks at local players as well as national talent.

"It means a lot," Martin said. "They look at local good players, and usually a college that good doesn't do that for local players. He's trying to get some local guys involved."