Cullowhee, N.C. – Two of the most recognizable figures from Catamount Athletics during the 2000's decade comprises the 2019 induction class into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame unveiled today. Former Catamount men's basketball standout and 12-year NBA veteran Kevin Martin (2001-04) and former women's soccer student-athlete Jordan Howell Dunn (2000-03) will be enshrined into the Hall's 30th class.
WCU's 2019 Hall of Fame weekend will be held Nov. 15-16 in conjunction with the Catamounts' home football game against Southern Conference opponent, the Samford Bulldogs. Complete details of the weekend's ceremonies will be made available closer to the event.
Martin joins an elite fraternity of 22 inductees that had a direct relation with the WCU men's basketball program all-time, the first hoops inductee since the late Charlie McConnell in 2015. Dunn becomes just the second women's soccer individual to be enshrined in the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame, joining a former teammate – and 2011 WCU Hall of Fame inductee – Nardia Moore, who was the program's first-ever signee and its all-time leading scorer.
Signed in late April 2001 after garnering second-team All-Ohio plaudits as a high school senior – and finishing fourth in the voting for Ohio Mr. Basketball – in his hometown of Zanesville, Ohio, the silky-smooth almost effortless playing style of Kevin Martin would become synonymous with Catamount basketball over the next three seasons. He averaged over 20 points per game for three consecutive years before becoming WCU's first first-round draft pick in any of the major professional ranks including NBA, NFL, or MLB.
Martin led the Catamounts with a 22.1 point per game average as a true freshman, collecting Freshman All-America accolades as well as All-Freshman honors from CollegeInsider.com. Along the way, he set a WCU record by making 42 consecutive free throws while ranking second in the SoCon – and 11th nationally – in seasonal scoring average. As an encore in his sophomore season, Martin paced the SoCon in scoring and ranked 10th nationally at 22.8 points per game
In his junior season, Martin was the only non-ACC member to be named to the 10-player All-District teams by both the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as he led the SoCon with a 24.9 point per game average, a mark that ranked him second overall in the nation.
A three-time All-Southern Conference selection including twice named to the first-team, Martin finished his three seasons in the Purple & Gold third in the program's record books and currently ranks fourth all-time with 1,838 career points. He continues to rank among WCU's career leaders in 3-pointers made (8th, 174), 3-pointers attempted (7th, 503), free throws made (3rd, 534), free throws attempted (3rd, 635), free throw percentage (2nd, .841), steals (12th, 134), and overall scoring average (3rd-t, 23.3 ppg).
Martin was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft with the 26th overall pick – and the 14th college player selected overall – by the Sacramento Kings, playing for the franchise from 2004 until 2010. He then spent two seasons with the Houston Rockets (2010-2012), a year with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2012-13), and three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2013-16) before concluding his 12-year playing career with the San Antonio Spurs (2016), last playing in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
He ultimately announced his retirement from the Association on Nov. 24, 2016, through a full-page ad in his hometown newspaper, the Zanesville Times Recorder.
During his professional playing career, Martin was regarded as one of the game's most dangerous shooting threats, especially from distance. The wiry guard shot 38.4-percent from beyond the 3-point arc for his career. Concluding his career with 12,396 career points, Martin averaged 17.4 points per game collectively including averaging 20-or-more points per game six times including a career-best 24.6 points per game in 2008-09 with Sacramento. He connected on 43.7-percent of his field-goal attempts while finishing as a career 87-percent free-throw shooter, twice eclipsing the 90-percent shooting mark in a single season.
Stemming from his service-minded upbringing in the Zanesville, Ohio community, Martin remains very active in his hometown. Upon his retirement in 2016, the Kevin Martin Youth Foundation made a generous $100,000 donation to the youth programs in Zanesville. He has also helped local families and children during the holidays by sponsoring shopping sprees for families needing assistance.
The son of Marilyn and Kevin, Kevin is married to the former Jill Arnold, wed in a ceremony in Florida in July 2011. The couple has a daughter, Anna Capri. Kevin has one brother, Jonathan, and two grandmothers, Maxine Martin and Teena Vigus.
Jordan Howell Dunn (2000-03) was a magnetic personality and figure on campus during her four years as a student-athlete in Cullowhee. Her presence was matched by her performance on the pitch as she ranks among the all-time greats in Catamount women's soccer history.
As a first-team, All-Southern Conference soccer player and a second-team Soccer Buzz Magazine All-Southeast Region selection during her playing career, Howell amassed 79 career points including 33 career goals during her four seasons – both of which continue to rank second in the program's record books. During the 2001 season, Howell led the SoCon in points (37) and in game-winning goals with seven, which set a WCU single-season record. She also earned Arby's/Catamount Student-Athlete of the month for August 2001. The sharp-shooting forward scored a program-record 10 game-winning goals, uncorking 216 career shots, which is the most ever by a Western Carolina University soccer player in spite of her playing career being shortened by a pair of knee injuries during both her sophomore and junior years.
Howell holds the distinction of earning WCU's first-ever weekly honor from the Southern Conference, doing so by collecting Women's Soccer Player of the Week plaudits on September 25, 2001. The previous week prior to the award, Howell scored five goals including one of her school-record three hat tricks.
An offensive star on WCU's first-ever – and currently only – regular-season championship squad in 2001, Howell was an integral part of both WCU's 14-match home winning streak and a run of 17-consecutive matches without suffering a loss that spanned October 3, 2000, through October 13, 2002. The Catamounts amassed a 16-0-1 home record during that two-year span with the 14-match unbeaten streak including overtime victories over Georgia Southern in 2000 and two, double-OT wins over Coastal Carolina and perennial SoCon power, UNCG. Among those 14 victories, eight were shutouts.
Howell represented the Women's Soccer team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2000-2003. Howell also was selected to the 11-member, WCU Women's Soccer 10th Anniversary team in 2008 and was a vital part of three of the “Top Ten Moments from the First 10 Years,” also unveiled as part of the 10-year celebration of the program. In 2018, she was again recognized by being selected to the program's 20th Season Team.
After graduation from WCU, Howell joined the faculty at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Ga., where she teaches Middle School Health and Physical Education. While she has coached multiple sports, she is currently the head junior varsity girls' soccer coach and an assistant middle school swimming coach.
Originally from Southern Pines, N.C., Jordan is the daughter of Ken and Deborah Howell. She is married to Andy Dunn, who earned a graduate degree from WCU in 2004 while also serving as a graduate assistant coach with the Catamount football team. The couple resides in Smyrna, Georgia, and they have a daughter, Ryan, and a son, Drew.
Including this year's induction class, Western Carolina's Athletics Hall of Fame has enshrined 122 individuals, six athletic teams, 11 Patron Award winners, and two recognized for career achievements since its creation and establishment in 1990.
To be considered for induction into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, nominees must be submitted to the Hall of Fame committee where they are kept on file for a period of five years. Each spring, the committee convenes to vote upon a list of nominees that are approved by the Hall's executive committee, which checks that those nominated meet the criteria as put forth by the committee's constitution. The appropriate nomination forms are available online at CatamountSports.com.