BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU forward Jarell Martin held a first round celebration after receiving a phone call from the Memphis Grizzlies to indicate they were selecting him at No. 25 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Martin said he was calm, but very excited and motivated after learning he was officially moving up to the professional level to continue playing basketball.
"It's sinking in," Martin said. "I'm very excited. I'm trying not to get emotional. I'm keeping myself together, but I'm very excited."
The former LSU standout and Baton Rouge native said he shared his excitement with his family, adding his relatives have been there with him every step of the way.
"It means a lot to my family for them to see me get drafted and make a career out of myself in basketball. We struggled a lot growing up and for me to not let that get to me, just use that as motivation and keep pushing and it's finally paying off," Martin added.
As far as his game on the court, Martin said he already knows where he needs to keep improving.
"I think becoming a more consistent jump shooter. They have guys like Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol that can knock down shots, so I've got to become a more consistent jump shooter, being a straight four," Martin explained.
The Memphis Grizzlies were one of the teams Martin tried out with. He said he had a chance to visit the city and it reminded him a little bit of home. Most importantly, he sampled some of the soul food and said he very much enjoyed the catfish he had with the team president.
Martin's stock certainly went up in the second half of the SEC season. He averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game as a sophomore.
The Madison Prep alum's athleticism is a huge part of his upside. He was especially known for a lot of high-flying dunks this year.