LaRue Martin

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BIOGRAPHY

LaRue Martin (born March 30, 1950) is a retired American professional basketball player. Martin was taken first overall by the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Portland Trail Blazers in 1972, drafted ahead of future Hall of Famers Bob McAdoo and Julius Erving.

A 6-foot-11 center out of Loyola University Chicago, LaRue Martin entered the NBA with much fanfare in 1972. Martin set the basketball world abuzz when he outplayed Bill Walton in a game between Loyola and UCLA, in the midst of their storied title runs, in 1971–72. The Portland Trail Blazers were so impressed with Martin that they made him the first overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft.

However, Martin never caught on in the NBA, and after the Blazers drafted Walton in 1974, he never had the chance. In his best season, Martin averaged 7.0 points per game and shot .452 from the field. He notched both of those numbers during the 1974–75 season, when Walton missed most of the year with injuries. Over his 4-year stint, Martin totaled just over 1,400 points.

Martin retired at the end of the 1975-76 season, one year before the Blazers won their first NBA championship (1977). In four seasons he averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Martin received a B.A. in sociology with a minor in education from Loyola. After his basketball career, he worked for Nike and an insurance company before joining UPS in the mid-1980s.  At UPS, he has worked as the Community Services Manager since August 2005.


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