NEW YORK -- The Adidas-sponsored Mass Rivals AAU program is growing up, and Taelon Martin looks primed to be a significant part of that.
The Mass Rivals 17-under team made waves this summer by going 21-0 at four tournaments in July, capped by winning the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Martin, a 2019 guard from Springfield (MA) Putnam Vo-Tech, split time this summer between the 15, 16 and 17-under squads, while picking up his first two Division I offers in June from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Rhode Island.
Aside from the Minutemen and Rams, Martin has interest from two other New England schools, Providence and Connecticut. As Martin's profile expands, his list of suitors will surely do the same.
"For them to offer when I'm this young and for them to believe in me that I can fit in there when I get older, that tells me a lot about them," the 6-foot-1 point guard told SNY.tv Friday afternoon following practice for Saturday night's Big Strick Classic at Gauchos Gym in the Bronx.
Martin, whose Putnam Vo-Tech team fell in a Massachusetts Division I state semifinal last winter, dreams of the biggest of Power Five programs one day offering him, but his dream school may not be what some might expect.
"Ohio State," Martin said with a laugh. "That's my dream school. I grew up watching Ohio State football. My uncle was a big football fan and he used to force me to watch when he came over to the house.
"Also, D'Angelo Russell, just how he impacted that school."
The 20-year-old lefty point guard spent the 2014-15 season in Columbus, averaging 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists before being selected No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Ohio State is all well and good, but Martin says he would also like to be offered by Kentucky and Duke. The reason should be obvious given the number of Wildcats and Blue Devils selected high in the NBA Draft the last few years.
"It's pretty impressive how they just send so many one-and-done guys to the league like that," Martin said. "You can tell he works his guys pretty hard, but they get to where they want to go."