Reno, NV —- The Reno Bighorns announced today that the team has secured the option on Head Coach Darrick Martin.
Hired in June of 2016, Martin placed a key emphasis on developing young talent during his first campaign in Reno, fostering Sacramento Kings rookies Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson, and Georgios Papagiannis. After spending 17 games with the Bighorns, Labissiere demonstrated significant improvement as the season progressed. The former Kentucky Wildcat increased his scoring and rebounding averages by 8.3 and 4.5 per game, respectively.
Over the course of Martin’s first year, Reno won 21 regular season games during their 2016-17 campaign, good for the number nine spot in the Western Conference. The Bighorns finished their season on a strong note, winning eight of their final 11 regular season games. Additionally, Reno overcame their largest deficit to win in franchise history (25 points), defeating the Santa Cruz Warriors 109-108 during their debut at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
In Martin’s first season at the helm, the Bighorns received one call-up to the NBA; Lamar Patterson (Atlanta, 2/24).
Martin, 46, joined the Bighorns after spending the 2015-16 season as a radio analyst for the UCLA Men’s Basketball broadcast. Prior to starting his career in the booth, Martin spent three seasons as an assistant coach at St. John’s University, where he served under Steve Lavin.
A 13-year NBA veteran, Martin began his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves (1994-95, 2003-04) before joining the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Los Angeles Clippers (1996-99, 2004-05), Sacramento Kings (1999-01), Dallas Mavericks (2001-02) and the Toronto Raptors (2004-08). The former Bruin suited up for a total of 514 games over the course of his career. Following his playing days, Martin joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as an assistant coach and player development specialist.
A UCLA alumnus, Martin’s dossier with the Bruins includes a four-year career (1988-89 – 1991-92) averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 assists per game, ranking 3rd in school history in assists (636) and steals (179). At the time, his assist total placed him 4th all-time in PAC-10 Conference annals.