VALPARAISO | When a third knee surgery ended his career at Notre Dame, Scott Martin wasn’t sure if he’d ever play basketball again.
The Valparaiso native will get that chance this fall after signing a professional contract with the Newcastle Eagles of the British Basketball League.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to play professional basketball,” Martin said. “Especially with the way last season ended for me. That left a real bad taste in my mouth and I didn’t want to finish out like that.”
Martin was shutdown in late January after he began experiencing discomfort in his surgically-repaired knee. The hope was that some rest in February would get Martin set for the grind of the Big East and NCAA tournaments in March. Strength never returned to the knee and Martin was sidelined for good on Feb. 28.
Once Martin started feeling better, he contacted his agent and started looking for chances to play overseas.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” Martin said. “It’s been a long time since I got to play in a game. I’m eager to get over there, start practice and then get into the games.”
The Eagles were 25-8 last season and finished second in the 12-team BBL. The league has been in existence since 1987 and represents the highest level of professional basketball in the United Kingdom.
“I’ll be playing with a pretty good mix of older guys as well as younger guys,” Martin said. “It seems like a good fit and Newcastle is a very good program.”
Martin played the last three years for Notre Dame after sitting out two years following his transfer from Purdue. The Valparaiso native averaged 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in his final season with the Irish.