Jan. 12, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. -
As Western Carolina travels to Davidson tonight in a battle of Southern Conference divisional leaders, the countdown to the 2012 Catamount men's basketball alumni reunion continues to tick down. All week leading up to this weekend's reunion (Jan. 13-14), CatamountSports.com continues to catch-up with several of the former Catamount student-athletes currently playing professionally both stateside and in Canada, as well as overseas in Europe.
Western Carolina will host its annual men's basketball alumni reunion this Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13-14 in Cullowhee as the Catamounts host the Furman Paladins in the Ramsey Center.
This edition concludes the round-up of the former WCU basketball players that are still playing professional basketball with guards, Kevin Martin (2002-04) and Corey Muirhead (2003-06).
Martin & Muirhead Photo Gallery
One of the most high profile recent players is Kevin Martin, who spent three seasons donning the purple-and-gold from 2002-04. Martin was the 26th pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He remains the only NBA first round pick in school-history while his 26th selection is second to Mel Gibson who as the 17th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1963 (only nine picks in the first round in 1963).
(Note: Henry Logan was a top pick of the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1968. He was drafted in the fourth round and was the 38th pick overall in the NBA draft that same year, but signed and played for the Oaks).
Martin played the first six years of his professional career with the Kings before being traded to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 18, 2010 as a part of a three-team, nine-player trade. He has averaged 18.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game including a career-best 24.6 point per game average in 2008-09.
In 2008, Martin was named to the USA Basketball Men's Select Team, a contingent formed to help prepare the Senior National Team for the Beijing Olympics.
Martin continues to rank fourth in scoring in the WCU record books, recording 1,838 career points in just three seasons. He is also fourth with a career scoring average of 23.27 points per game. Both totals rank as the school-record since WCU joined the NCAA Division I ranks in the 1976-77 season.
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Martin was a three-time, first-team All-Southern Conference selection by the league's head coaches. During his final season in the purple and gold, he led the SoCon and ranked either first-or-second in the NCAA in scoring all year, averaging 24.9 points per game.
He has remained a big part of his hometown community, founding the Kevin Martin Basketball Camp and the Kevin Martin Youth Foundation in Zanesville. He also worked with the Sacramento Children's Home during his time in northern California. Last summer, Martin was married to his longtime girlfriend, Jill Adler.
Another former Catamount guard that has had a tremendous professional playing career is Corey Muirhead, who is currently playing for BK Pardubice in the Czech Republic NBL. After finishing his playing career in Cullowhee, Muirhead received a NBA pre-draft workout invitation in 2006 held at Hofstra Univ. Following the draft, he took his game overseas where he has flourished the past six seasons.
During his six-year professional career, Muirhead has played for six different European teams, beginning with the Starwings in Switzerland. He has also played in Oberwart, Austria for the Gunners; Cholet, France; back in Switzerland in Rhone Herens before moving to the Czech Republic.
This season, the 6-6 guard currently ranks second on the team with 14.7 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per contest. His team just recently completed competition in the International Basketball Federation - or FIBA using its French translation - EuroChallenge, playing in Istanbul, Turkey. He also recently competed in the dunk contest where he made a name for himself by dunking over a fully dressed hockey goaltender - which they nicknamed "Dominik Hasek," a now retired Czech goalie who played in the NHL for 16 seasons and who led the Czech national team to a gold medal in 1998.
Originally from York, Ontario, Canada, Muirhead played at WCU from 2002-06, scoring 1,025 career points to currently rank 37th in school history. He averaged a career-best 12 points per game during his final season in 2005-06, adding single-season career highs with 71 assists and 45 steals.
Muirhead was married to his college girlfriend - and Western Carolina graduate - the former Lauren Mabe of Greensboro, N.C., in the summer of 2007. The couple had their first child - Andreas - in the fall of 2009.
For more information - or for former players to RSVP - for the 2012 Catamount Men's Basketball Reunion this weekend in Cullowhee, please contact Jeremiah Fisher of the Catamount Club at (828) 227-3047 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of participating in the reunion is $20 and includes a ticket to Saturday's game, as well as admission to the Purple Zone.