Katrina Martin wants to design buildings for a living. To that end, the standout forward for Elizabeth Seton High School's girls basketball team plans on studying architectural engineering when she enrolls at Drexel University this summer.
"I know it's going to be a lot of work," Martin said. "But since the sixth grade, I've always wanted to be an architect, so here's my big chance."
The fact Martin already is mapping out her career is testament to what Roadrunners Coach Richard Brown says about her, that she has as good a head on her shoulders as any player he has ever coached. And if Martin is as successful in architecture as she has been in basketball, the future could be very prosperous for her.
The 5-foot-10 Martin has set career school records at Elizabeth Seton in points (over 1700) and rebounds (980), and for the third straight season she is leading the Roadrunners in both categories. She is averaging 18.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
"You won't find many people getting that double-double, especially someone her size," Brown said. "She's been a fighter her whole career."
Martin scored 21 points Sunday as Elizabeth Seton defeated then-No. 2 St. John's, 55-53, to move to No. 6 in The Post's girls basketball rankings. Brown praises Martin for her drive, hustle, poise and almost everything else. Before this season, however, there was one thing he wanted his best player to work on: leadership.
Martin is a quiet person, Brown said, but he wanted her to assert herself with teammates this season. The coach needed her to assume the leadership role point guard Mia Chapman, who graduated last spring, held last season.
"He told me this was really going to be my year, and he really needed me to be the leader," Martin said. "From then on I really tried to be the best leader, and the best captain for this team. For practice, since we are a young team, we have about eight new players, when things aren't going right or they're not working hard, it's [the upperclassmen's] job to tell them they need to work hard."
Martin is the first person to admit that it was not a role that has come easily to her. For inspiration, she thought back to her freshman year, when then-senior Tina Walker was a team captain and, like Martin, played power forward and center. Walker is a senior at William and Mary.
"She was a really good role model, and she taught me a lot in practice," Martin said. "The way she was tough mentally in practice was something I remembered and took after."
Martin also has had to contend with added expectations this season. She began the season virtually assured of setting school records for career points and rebounds, so she set a goal of reaching 20 points and 10 rebounds every game.
"Sometimes those points aren't going to be there," Martin said. "But if I'm going to get 15 rebounds and maybe not get that many points, then that's fine. I just want to win."
Martin is one of four Elizabeth Seton players who averages 10 or more points per game. Most of the plays Brown draws up exclusively for one player go to Martin, but the coach said Martin still gets most of her points off of "hustle points."
"Katrina is our go-to player, but a lot of the points she gets are offensive rebounds," Brown said. "She knows how to go to the boards and get that basketball."
At Drexel next season, Martin will be asked to move to small forward. To prepare, she already has begun to work on diversifying her game, dribbling to the perimeter and occasionally bringing the ball up the floor for the Roadrunners.
"I know one thing, she'll handle" the transition to college, Brown said. "I wish Katrina well. I just know that she's going to do well in life, and not just in basketball."
"Basketball is not going to be for the rest of my life, and I plan on doing architecture after school," Martin said.
"Not to say it's more important than basketball, but it's going to be there. . . . I don't think you can put all your eggs in one basket.
"Because you can't play basketball all your life. No one ever does."
CAPTION: Katrina Martin, left, encounters opposition from St. John's Jocelyn Logan-Friend during Elizabeth Seton's 55-53 victory on Sunday.
CAPTION: Katrina Martin, who is Elizabeth Seton's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, plans to study architectural engineering.