Perth Wildcat legend Damian Martin hangs up the sneakers

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After 13 seasons, 342 NBL games, and a legacy of achievements that may never be repeated, Damian Martin has made the decision to retire.

The Perth Wildcats legend made the announcement in front of family, teammates and club staff at the team’s Bendat Basketball Centre practice facility on Tuesday.

Looking back at his career, Martin said the best way to describe it is a “complete surprise”.

“It’s been well beyond anything I ever thought was possible, and probably something I won’t be really appreciative of until I sit down and take the time to really reflect on it,” he said.

“But the highlight for me is the way it’s made my mum, my dad, my wife and my daughters feel.

“I’m really going to miss bringing my three-year-old daughter and my one-year-old daughter out onto the court at RAC Arena after a game and just seeing the sheer delight they get just from having seen Wilbur, the dancers, and getting to high-five my teammates.

“Anything you do you want to be able to share it with the people you love and that’s where I’ve been most fortunate. Whether it be family, friends, teammates, the Red Army. There’s always people along the way that have got as much enjoyment out of it as I have, if not more, and that means the world to me.”

Martin, 35, retires not only as one of the greatest Wildcats of all-time, but one of the most decorated Australian basketball players in history.

Headlining his list of accomplishments is an incredible six NBL championships in 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

He’s one of just four players to win six titles, with he and teammate Jesse Wagstaff the only to do it at one club.

In 2016, he earned Grand Final MVP honours in his side’s gutsy triumph over the NZ Breakers.

The tenacious guard will also go down in history as the league’s all-time greatest defensive player, and is the only player to be named NBL Best Defensive Player an incredible six times, with five of those coming in consecutive seasons.

In addition to this, Martin was named to the All-NBL First Team in 2011, and the All-NBL Second Team in 2013 and 2014.

Perth Wildcats head coach Trevor Gleeson had the highest level of praise for the inspirational leader.

“Damo’s the best player I’ve coached in over 400 NBL games,” he said.

“He’s an inspiration and a high IQ player who gives everything he has to his team and to the contest.

“I’ve seen him play through multiple injuries that would have stopped most players from stepping onto the court. His toughness is second to none. He’s a warrior who earned my respect many years ago.

“It’s been an honour to coach him for the last seven years and, while a selfish part of me wishes he was playing on, I’m so happy he was able to go out in style with another championship.”

Damian Martin played 310 games for the Perth Wildcats, making him the club’s sixth most-capped player.

Martin became the Wildcats eighth captain in 2013, steering the team through the most successful era in its history.

He totalled 589 steals, the third-most in franchise history, and made 1,062 assists, putting him in fourth position in that category.

Outside of the NBL, Martin achieved his dream of becoming an Olympian at Rio 2016, performing at a high level alongside and against the world’s best, including four steals in the Australian Boomers Quarter Final victory.

Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “Damian Martin leaves the game as one of the NBL’s all-time greats.

“He is one of only four players in the history of the NBL to win six championships and won the NBL Defensive Player of the Year a record six times. He also represented the Boomers with great distinction including winning a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Damian’s leadership has played a critical role in the sustained success of the Wildcats during his career and his friendly and generous nature off the court has endeared him to people all around the country.

“He is a fan favourite and will always be remembered with great affection. Opposition point guards around the country will certainly sleep better tonight.

“We wish Damian and his family all the very best with the next chapter of their lives and hope he will remain involved with the game and the league.”

Damian Martin Facts


Games: 342 (310 Perth, 32 West Sydney)

Seasons: 13 (2007-2009 West Sydney, 2009-2020 Perth)

Championships: 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020

Grand Final MVP: 2016

NBL Best Defensive Player: 2011-2015, 2018

All-NBL First Team: 2011

All-NBL Second Team: 2013, 2014


2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Gold Medal

2016 Rio Olympic Games: 4th

2010 FIBA World Cup Turkey: 10th

2003 FIBA Under-19 World Cup Greece: Gold Medal (Captain)


Loyala Marymount 2003-2007

All-Freshman WCC 2004

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