Roman Martinez Named Winner of Chip Hilton Award
March 30, 2010
In a way, the race for the 2010 Chip Hilton Award was never really a race. Just fill in the blank in the No. 4 hole.
Yeah, the name Roman Martinez is a perfect fit. "It's truly and honor to accept this award," said the University of New Mexico senior. "It's a privilege to even be in the same category as these other players. It's an amazing honor."
Four of the nation's graduating seniors were named as finalists for the 14th annual award, to be presented by Chip Hilton Sports and the National Association of Basketball Coaches during the Final Four in Indianapolis on April 4 at the NABC Past Presidents' Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency.
The finalists for the 2010 Chip Hilton Award were Martinez, Matt Boudlin (Gonzaga), Lazar Haywood (Marquette) and Derrick Roland (Texas A&M).
The Chip Hilton Award honors a Division I men's graduating senior for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership and talent similar to the qualities evident in the 24-book Chip Hilton Sports Series.
The books, authored by Coach Clair Bee, enjoyed their first popularity in the late 1940s through the mid-1960s and were updated and re-released by Randy and Cindy Farley to a new generation of readers in 1999 and have sold over one million copies. The core of the books is still part of the core of this award -- character and giving.
"That's part of UNM," said Martinez of the off-the-court stuff. "It's a part of our program and part of what coach Alford wants us to do here. He has set up a culture to where it's a privilege to play here.
"It's an honor to be in this program and we try to give back. I'm lucky to be here."
Coach Clair F. Bee, the late Long Island University coach and Hall of Famer, compiled an .826 lifetime winning percentage, still the best in major-college coaching history. Known as the "Innovator," Clair Bee's influence on the game also extended to strategies such as the 1-3-1 zone defense and the 3-second rule, sports camps at Oriental, Manhattan and Brighton beaches as well as Camp All-America and Kutsher's Sports Academy, writing technical coaching books and conducting coaching clinics around the world.
By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Clair Bee had already begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series, considered the top sports fiction series ever written.
Chip Hilton Sports began presenting the award in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball.
The Selection Committee is composed of: Dan Beebe, Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pat Knight, Billy Packer, Dean Smith and Dick Vitale.
Chip Hilton Award winners
2010 - Roman Martinez, University of New Mexico
About Roman Martinez
Will receive his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing from UNM in May 2010...3.48 cumulative GPA
ESPN the Magazine 2nd Team Academic All-American for 2009-10, UNM's first selection in 35 years
Involved in a 2009 summer mentorship program in Albuquerque Community Centers, including the Herman Sanchez, Loma Linda, Los Duranes and Caesar Chavez community centers...he also volunteered at the Albuquerque School District backpack initiative and spent time at the UNM Children's Hospital
One of the nation's top 3-point shooters in 2009-10, he led the Mountain West Conference by averaging 2.8 3s a game and was fourth in accuracy at 41.3%
Set a UNM record with 240 3-point attempts in 2009-10 and his 99 3-pointers made ranks No. 2 all-time at New Mexico for a single season
Only Lobo to reach 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 200 3-pointers and 200 assists in a career
Tied for 2nd at UNM in games played (133), 19th in scoring (1,159), 10th in rebounding (633) and 6th in 3-pointers made (205)
Will participate in the Ford 3-Point Shooting contest Thursday in Indianapolis during Final Four activities...the competition is part of the 22nd Annual State Farm College Slam Dunk and Three Point Championships...former Lobo Tony Danridge won the Slam Dunk title last year in Detroit.
"You look back a year ago and Daniel Faris beat me in this contest (at Lobo Howl)," said Faris. "I'm just going out there to have some fun, try to hit some shots and try to get to the second round.
"There are some tough 3-point shooters there. I'm kind of nervous, but I'm just going out there to have some fun. I can't wait to go."
After his graduation from UNM, Martinez said he hopes to extend his basketball season for a few more years.
"I think I want to try and play professionally," he said. "I'm just trying to find a job trying to play basketball. I'm not ready to get a regular job yet. I love the game so I want to try and string it out as long as possible."