1-on-1 with Damian Martin & Julian Pace

Possibly the NBL’s greatest ever defender, Martin has earned the honour of Defensive Player of the Year five straight years from 2011-2015.

Identified as a leader from an early age, the point guard captained the 2003 Australian U19 team at the World Championships where they won their first ever gold at the competition.

He honed his talents in the US at Loyola Marymount University but returned home to play for the West Sydney Razorbacks from 2007-09 in the NBL.

He brought success back to the Perth Wildcats when he joined them in 2010, giving them their first Championship in a decade in his first season with the new club. Four years later he would repeat the feat as he he surpassed 200 NBL games and made an All-NBL team for the fourth consecutive year.

Although not required to be as much of an offensive threat with the Wildcats, Martin is certainly capable around the rim and can surprise teams with his shot when necessary but it is that defensive intensity that makes him a vital part of the Australian national team’s back court.

Martin was apart of the 2016 Rio Olympic squad, playing strong minutes off the bench for coach Lemanis’ team. Upon returning from the Olympics, early on in the NBL season Martin suffered a number of injuries that kept him out for a substantial part of the 2016-17 season. Martin returned in time to play the out the end of the regular season, helping the Wildcats qualify for the finals.

Perth made the Grand-final once again and subsequently defeated the Illawarra Hawks 3-0 as Martin won his fourth NBL Championship.

In the 2017-18 season, Martin was named the NBL’s best defensive player for a record sixth time.