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Posted On: 06/26/18 7:00 PM
One of the more intriguing big man prospects in Northeast Ohio transferred from John Hay to Cleveland Heights after the school year. But John Hay has another big waiting in the wings who is going to attract the eyes of college recruiters.
Both players in question were in action at the Terry Rozier Summer League at The Word Church on June 25.
Nigel Martin (2019), a 6’5” guard, transferred to Cleveland Heights from John Hay because his family moved to that city, he said after playing for Heights in its 46-42 summer league win over East Tech.
In the win over East Tech Martin scored a variety of ways, most predominantly on the inside where he followed up misses and either put the ball in the bucket or drew a foul and knocked down the ensuing free throws.
“I’m big a guard so I can handle the ball. This summer I’ve really worked on my jumper and I can shoot the three,” Martin said when asked to describe his game.
As a younger player, Martin often found himself playing in the post. He said that experience has helped him to become a strong rebounding guard.
“I’ve got inside skills,” he said.
Martin was a stat-sheet stuffer at John Hay during his junior year when he averaged 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists a game, but yet didn’t even make an all-district team.
Youngstown State, Cleveland State and Notre Dame College and some MAC schools have been in contact with Martin, he said.
Martin’s departure from John Hay has created a big opportunity 6’9” David Smith (2019). Smith is a raw prospect. He grew eight inches from his sophomore to junior year and is entering just his second year of playing organized basketball.
Smith said several college coaches talked to him after watching him play at an open run at Cleveland State earlier this June.
“They like my attitude and my demeanor,” Smith said.
Smith’s offensive game is a work in progress, but on defense, he showed an ability to clog up the lane and to run the floor. Despite growing eight inches over a short time he runs with fluidity and does not appear to be awkward of gawky.
“I like defense. I like talking, I like getting the defense moving,” Smith said.
He’s also put on 20 pounds of muscle in recent months, according to his high school coach Steve Saunders, and will be working with a personal trainer to develop his inside offensive game.
“He’s taken pride in his body and his physique,” Saunders said of Smith. “We told him to work on his physique because he was skinny.”