Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
Bennington Martens First Season Comes to An End
Sometimes new professional sports teams can struggle in their first year. The Bennington Martens of the American Basketball Association certainly had their growing pains during their initial campaign, but everyone involved would agree it was a high successful season.
The Martens split their games between three different locations this season. The team played most home games at the Heritage Family Fieldhouse in Rutland. Two homes games late in the season were played at the Gateway Sports Complex in Cohoes, and a recent home playoff contest was played at Albany Leadership Charter School in Albany.
Playoffs? Yes, I said playoffs! It is usually rare for a first year franchise to qualify for the playoffs, but the Martens did just that. Not only did Bennington earn the #10 seed in the ABA playoffs, they defeated #11 Worcester 108-101. The win advanced the Martens to the second round the following day where they fell on the road 111-104 to the NY Hoop Dragons. None the less, a playoff bid in season one and a playoff win symnbolize the team's first year sucess.
A large part of what the Martens are all about is helping players with goals to play at a higher professional level to find their niche. Several of the team's players are on their way overseas to play as a result of their time with the Martens. Martens will be on the courts in Spain, El Savador and Brazil playing professionally in the coming months. Another feather in the cap of the franchise.
"God is blessing us. We are giving these guys opportunities that they dream about," co-founder and head coach Christopher Kidd explained after a recent contest. "There was no one who was positioning players to succeed in this way when I was growing up. "That's why I started the Bennington Martens. To be a platform for guys to play professionally for their first year, and also to go to higher levels."
Co-founder of the Martens and assistant coach Shawn Pratt agreed with Kidd's assessment of the program.
"We had a bunch of guys go over seas. The Martens are a training ground for guys to come in and learn stuff they need to learn for their career," Pratt added. "We want other guys to be able to step up and do the same thing that those guys who left did. It's part of the teaching process."
So now the Martens look forward to next season to build on what was accomplshed this season. Off season workouts will begin for the team this sping to begin working to improve for 2022-2023.
Kidd and Pratt are also planning to be back with two new teams this summer. The New York Lights and New York Lady Lights will be debuting in the PBA and LPBA, a league a little bit higher in level than the ABA the Martens play in.
Congratulations to Kidd, Pratt and General Manager Regina Mason on a successful first season for Bennington Martens ABA basketball. If you haven't been to a Martens game you need to get out to see them next year. And if you missed out on the Martens, be tuned in for info on the Lights and Lady Lights in the very near future.
I would also like to thank the Martens for being the sponsor of our Border Country Sports Bennington Martens Player of the Week award, recognizing our top local high school basketball players. We could not have done it without your support.
Myself and Border Country Sports are proud to be a part of all three teams. Keep watching my blog for tryout news and other information.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.