A.W. Hamilton pulling all the right strings with top 65 Recruiting Class

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Taelon Martin, a four-star recruit coming out of high school, will join the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball program, head coach A.W. Hamilton announced today.

Martin, rated as the 35th best junior college prospect by JUCORecruiting.com, averaged 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a sophomore at the College of Southern Idaho this past season.  The 6-foot-4 guard who earned first team all-region honors shot 43 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line.

After getting the news that Richmond native Isaiah Cozart would be coming home on Monday, Martin is the latest addition to a recruiting class now ranked 65th in the country by 247Sports.  The class also includes EKU’s first-ever ESPN four-star freshman recruit in point guard Leland Walker, three-star point guard Tayshawn Comer, junior college All-American John Ukomadu, Kentucky Mr. Basketball Turner Buttry and 6-foot-10 forward Dardan Kapiti.  Walker and Comer are rated among the top-40 high school point guards in the nation.

EKU’s class is ranked higher than such programs as Connecticut (66th), Louisville (68th), Oklahoma State (73rd), Tennessee (75th), Arizona (76th), Mississippi State (79th) and Texas A&M (82nd).  It is the highest rated Eastern Kentucky class in the internet recruiting era.

Taelon is in a class of his own when it comes to being an elite athlete,” Hamilton said.  “His high energy and competitive nature are going to bring a lot of excitement to our up-tempo style. Taelon is a tremendous get for us.”

Martin began his collegiate career at the University of Saint Joseph, a NCAA Division III program led by former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun.  He averaged 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals during the 2019-20 season and was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Year.  

As a high school athlete at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Martin was one of the top-60 players in the country, and rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.  He received scholarship offers from Connecticut, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Marquette and others.

He helped Putnam win a Western Massachusetts Division I Championship in 2016 and 2019.

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Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Michael Watkins...what do all those names have in common? Greatness...Michael Watkins is from a small town in Eastern Kentucky where he grew up dreaming of being a sports broadcaster. At the age of 16 he started working WJSN radio station in his hometown of Jackson Kentucky in his first step toward that dream. Michael has been at Wallingford Broadcasting since November 2012 and took over as Sports Director in 2015. The dream of being a sports broadcaster became a bigger reality when the Wallingford Sports Show was launched in late 2015. He also can be heard throughout the year calling local high school sports in the area across the different Wallingford Media Platforms. Michael and his wife, Morgan, gave birth to their first child in March of 2017 and the city of Richmond is now home to the Wallingford Sports Guy.

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