This summer Coach Clark from the TRU men’s basketball team shook up WolfPack fan’s and media after he announced the signing of Fredrico Martins, a 6”1 basketball player from Portugal who at the time was in the middle of leading his national team in scoring at the U-18 2019 FIBA European “B” championships.
He also had experience at the club level where he spent three seasons at Estoril Basket Clube, averaging over 18 points and five assists per game. These impressive statistics helped his team reach the regional Final Four and Portuguese Cup Final where Martins was named to the all-tournament team.
“We are getting a pretty good player, ” Clark said. “We are getting a guy who has represented his country many times at the youth levels (U 16, U18). He has good quickness both offensively and defensively. He can shoot the ball and has played at a high level at both the European championship level but also at the club level. From that perspective, we are getting a guy who has played a lot of high-level basketball and seen a lot of things.”
Most Canadians dream of dropping everything and catching a flight to Portugal to lounge in the Lisbon sun. The allure of a Portuguese national team player leaving his home countries sandy beaches to experience Canadian winters and play at the Tournament Capital Centre is intriguing, to say the least.
“Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to study and play basketball in North America because it’s easier to connect sports and school than it is in Europe,” Martins stated. “Since I wanted to keep studying and playing basketball, having the opportunity to come to a place where I can do both at the same time was a perfect fit.”
Martins has yet to suit up for TRU this season, making his first start even more anticipated. He is confident he will be able to adapt to the level of play.
“I think Canadian University basketball is very good and has a level of competitiveness that I can adjust to. I believe my strengths are as a three-point and mid-range shooter. I am fast in transition with good defensive skills and I am able to communicate with my teammates,” Martins adds. “I am really excited to be a part of TRU and the WolfPack. I think this is a very good school with amazing facilities and I think I’ll be able to connect both with my teammates and in my classes.”
Do you believe in the hype? Come out and support your school for a chance to see if the Portuguese wonder boy is the real deal. The next home games for the TRU men’s basketball team will be on Nov.22nd and Nov. 23rd as they take on the University of Northern British Colombia, 6 p.m. tip-off at the TCC.