KU Jayhawks’ Cam Martin enters his name in transfer portal: ‘I loved my time here’

·4 min read
Gary Bedore, KC Star

Kansas senior forward Cam Martin, who played a total of 10 minutes in four games during the 2022-23 season after redshirting KU’s national title campaign, will transfer to another program for his final season of college basketball.

Martin, 6-foot-9, 230 from Yukon, Oklahoma, spoke to The Star on Monday shortly after his name appeared in the transfer portal. KU coach Bill Self confirmed the news in a text message.

“I am in the portal,” Martin said in a phone interview. “I just talked with the coaches and decided it was best for my career and myself just to move on. We both agreed it’s better for my fit and the way I play.”

Martin transferred to KU from Missouri Southern before the 2021-22 season. In three seasons at MSSU, he scored 2,040 points and left as the second-leading scorer in program history.

After redshirting during KU’s NCAA title season, Martin, who started his career at Jacksonville State in 2017-18, appeared to be in line for some minutes at the 5-spot during his super-senior season at KU.

However he suffered a shoulder separation at practice in late October. After intense rehab he played in his first KU game on Dec. 10 at Missouri. He played against Indiana and in two Big 12 games before reinjuring the shoulder. His last game action was four minutes on Jan. 3 at Texas Tech. He will be able to receive a medical redshirt from the NCAA to guarantee one more season of college hoops.

“I loved my time here, the relationships I built,” Martin said Monday. “My teammates are lifelong. I’ve got my brothers always. I wouldn’t change a thing how it happened. It’s unfortunate me getting hurt. I wouldn’t change it.”

Asked where he might transfer, Martin said: “I have no idea. I know more now how it (transfer process) all works. I’m going to look for the system, find somewhere where I fit in a system and play the way I play. Really just the best fit, go somewhere I can have an impact right away since I only have one year, go from there.”

Martin said “for sure” when asked if his shoulder injury might have affected his KU career in terms of making an impact in games.

“You can sit here and play the ‘what if’ game all year,” Martin said. “I go from starting the first scrimmage and then the very next day I mess my shoulder up, get all out of rhythm. You never know what could happen. When I redshirted (in 2021-22) I was hoping and working for the big role. Things just didn’t work out.”

On Saturday, after KU’s season-ending loss to Arkansas, Martin said: “My shoulder is good. It’s been a long nagging injury. I knew when it happened they said it wouldn’t be 100% until March or April. I still get some pain. It’s getting better.”

Martin noted Saturday: “It was a roller coaster season, just waiting all last year to be able to play, playing through pain. It was up and down, a hard season for me personally.”

Martin separated his shoulder during a late-October practice. At the time, he said he was hurt when he fell on the shoulder after trying to block a shot by freshman forward Ernest Udeh with both hands during some one-on-one time.

“I fell over Ernest; I tried catching myself,” Martin said. “My shoulder … I thought I dislocated it. It ended up being separated. I landed on the shoulder. (There was) a lot of pain. It was tough to sleep (the night it happened).”

Of his days at KU, which included winning a national-title ring, he said in a recent radio interview: “It’s an awesome experience to be part of such a rich culture, see all the great players who played here, walk down this hallway every day (outside locker room), see all the names. We played at the same school Wilt (Chamberlain) played basketball, Danny Manning played. It’s something we can take for granted but a great experience to be small part of it.”