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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Whitey Martin

     (Born April 11, 1939) -- You could have gotten long odds that Ronald "Whitey" Martin would have ever made the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. The odds were almost as long that he'd ever play a second of college basketball.

     Martin was 5-foot-5 when he was cut from the varsity basketball team at Timon High. But he grew five inches in the next year, and new coach Mel Palano liked him enough to make him his starting point guard as a senior.

     Then Martin arrived at St. Bonaventure, and had grown to 6-2. He became the Bonnies' sixth man as a sophomore, and then started as a junior and a senior. Martin was part of a Bona era that saw the team go 65-12 over three seasons. No St. Bonaventure team has ever done better over three years.

     Tom Stith led the way on those teams, averaging around 30 points per game as a junior and senior. But Martin averaged around 12 points per game at the same time, and was a fine defensive player as well.

     Martin was taken by the Knicks in the second round of the 1961 NBA draft, as his college coach, Eddie Donovan, landed in New York that year. Martin played in the NBA for a year before moving on to semipro ball.

     Martin is retired and lives in North Boston. 

--- Budd Bailey

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