HOUSTON – Former Texas men’s basketball great Slater Martin (1944, 47-49) passed away on Thursday in Houston. He was 86.
Martin earned All-NBA honors seven times and is still considered one of the greatest guards to ever play the game. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1962. In 1982, he became the first Longhorns player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. His No. 15 jersey was retired by The University of Texas on Jan. 31, 2009.
The El Mina, Texas native led UT to a 63-14 record from 1947-49, including a third-place finish at the NCAA Tournament during his sophomore campaign in 1946-47. Martin (born Oct. 22, 1925) enrolled at Texas in the fall of 1943 and played four games as a freshman on the varsity squad. He went into military service in January of 1944.
Martin rejoined the Longhorns for the 1946-47 Final Four run. He earned third-team All-America honors from both the Helms Foundation and True Magazine as a junior in 1947-48. Martin garnered first-team All-America honors from the Helms Foundation and second-team All-America mention from Look Magazine during his senior year in 1948-49.
In his next-to-last game at Texas, he set a school single-game record with 49 points in an 81-60 victory against TCU on Feb. 26, 1949. During his collegiate career, he played in 78 games and broke UT’s all-time scoring mark (984 points).
Following his collegiate days, Martin began an 11-year career in the National Basketball Association with the Minneapolis Lakers (1949-50 to 1955-56) and the St. Louis Hawks (1956-57 to 1959-60). The 5-10 guard established a reputation as one of the top defensive players in the league. He led his teams to five World Championships and reached the NBA Finals three additional times.
Martin is survived by his sons Jim and Slater, Jr. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
Oct. 22, 1925 – Oct. 18, 2012
Hometown: El Mina, Texas
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (1982)
Longhorn Hall of Honor inductee (1962)
Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee (1964)
2-time All-American (1948, 49)
Led Texas to 1947 Final Four