A STORM'S A BREWIN' AT BREVARD: former Red Devil guard Mathew Martinez set to join forces with ex-Bandys point guard Quenten Maddox during 2020-21 season

Former Red Devil guard/wing Mathew Martinez (20) hoisting up a three during the South Fork 2A Conference tourney game against Lincolnton on February 17, 2020. (O-N-E file photo by Brian Hendrix)Former Bandys High point guard Quenten Maddox III (23) splitting through the double by Maiden’s Justin Robinson (0) and Amarion Craig (3) on December 19, 2019. (O-N-E file photo by Michelle Thompson)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

It's never a good feeling for a collegiate prospect to be overlooked and underrated, to a degree.

When one finally gets noticed, the feeling becomes sweet. That was the driving force for former Newton-Conover and Bandys basketball players Mathew Martinez and Quenten Maddox as both are set to join the Brevard Tornadoes this winter.

The pair had some offers, but the two felt Brevard was a solid fit. Martinez – a 6'3” guard/wing – was the most recent to commit having made his decision on June 2, while Maddox – a 5'10” point guard – committed in early May.

“My initial thought when I received the offer from Brevard was that I was very happy and excited,” said Martinez. “The reason I chose Brevard is because I felt comfortable with the coaches and the school. (It) felt like the place to be.”

It's quite a change for them as both have been on high school teams that have had its fair share of battles over the years – including an overtime victory for the Red Devils at Bandys on Jan. 3, 71-66. In that win, Martinez put up a team-high 16 points, while Maddox earned 10 points (5-of-9), five rebounds and four assists.

In their final seasons with their respective programs, Martinez averaged a team-best 13.8 points, five rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game while Maddox averaged 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Martinez said that playing for Newton-Conover the last few years was fun. He said the thing he will miss the most is his teammates, and the least thing is having late practices.

Having played a couple of different sports at first, Martinez said that basketball was the one that grabbed his attention the most, and he's been playing since fifth-grade with the support of his family through and through.

“A lot of things gets me motivated when I put on the jersey (including) the coaching staff, teammates, and most importantly my family, but I think I put me in my game mode (too),” he said.

He said that listening to his music helps put himself in sync for game-time and prepares him to head onto the court. Since the season has been over, it's been a difficult time to stay in shape, but Martinez has been trying.

“I've been staying in shape by working out in my garage,” he said. “I go running, and I have a basketball goal outside to get shots up.”

In terms of having the chance to play with Maddox during the 2020-21 season, Martinez said that it feels good knowing that he's going to be playing with him, and he's excited at the opportunity.

Maddox shared similar sentiments about playing alongside Martinez this winter:

“I'm ready,” he said. “I know he's a competitor. I feel as if we're both hungry for this opportunity and also we were probably overlooked. Brevard gave both of us this opportunity, and I know we are gonna go hard and compete.

“As a playmaking guard, I love to get my teammates involved. Matt is a good scorer; hands down one of the best in the county.”

As far as his grind during the off-season to stay in game shape, Maddox said that he has definitely been working on becoming more of a shooting guard and has been working on shooting off the dribble. Being able to catch-and-shoot from every spot on the court, as well as increasing his range, has been key areas that he's focused on.

“We've (also) spoke about working out together, but honestly with the virus we'll have to wait to see,” he said about working with Martinez. “I've been basically grinding along day in, day out to show I'm ready for the highest level possible.”