Maddie Martin paid tribute to coach John Bucci on what turned into a special night in her basketball career Tuesday.
After adding a purple heart and the initials “JB” to both sides of each sneaker, Martin won for the first time in college basketball, scoring 13 points and matching her season-high of 7 assists for New Jersey Institute of Technology in an 88-69 victory over visiting St. Francis of Brooklyn.
Playing a day after Bucci’s death, the former JB Hoops and Dunmore High School standout won for the first time in more than 32 months.
Since her final game at Dunmore where her teams were 103-12, Martin had missed two full seasons at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school in Newark while rehabilitating from two reconstructive knee surgeries. NJIT then started the season 0-6.
Martin made five of seven shots in the win. It was her most accurate shooting night as a college player.
When she was done, Martin posted on her Twitter account: “Played in your honor tonight, Coach. I know you were watching down.”
The 5-foot-7 redshirt freshman point guard was 1-for-2 on 3-pointers and 2-for-3 from the line. She grabbed an offensive rebound and blocked a shot.