In the beginning

When Kevin Martin's name was called by NBA commissioner David Stern on June 24, 2004, the improbable had happened.

A small-town player had gone big-time in a way few ever do, as the skinny kid from Zanesville, Ohio and Western Carolina University had been selected 26th overall in the draft by the Sacramento Kings. Six years later, Martin continues to surprise the masses. The 6-foot-7, 185-pound shooting guard has become one of the league's best scorers, finishing in each of the last 4 seasons ranked in the top 25 in the league in points per game, while proving worthy of the five-year extension he signed with Sacramento in the summer of 2007. His story continues in Houston, but that is not where it began.

Back in the Day...

The hometown and the high school years.

Martin was born on Feb. 1, 1983 in Zanesville, Ohio. A town of 25,000 people, located 50 miles East of Columbus where his father, Kevin, mother, Marilyn, and brother, Jonathon, still live. He grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, marveling at the greatness that led to six NBA titles and honoring Jordan by plastering posters on the walls of his bedroom.

When Martin entered the high school hoops ranks, his dream of playing in the pros could not have seemed more far-fetched. He weighed less than 100 pounds as a freshman and would top at 150 pounds during his senior season. But just as Martin grew adept at making the most of his talents, he grew to 6-4 and was becoming a potent prodigy on the offensive end.

Though Martin took fourth place in the voting for Mr. Ohio as a senior - the award that goes to the state's best prep basketball player - he knew he was good enough to continue his basketball career at the college.