Hawkeyes land junior guard from Illinois

Women's basketball: Kate Martin led Edwardsville to 30-1 record, state final

Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — It’s a 300-mile drive from Edwardsville, Ill., to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

But Kate Martin has felt destined to be a Hawkeye nearly all her life.

“I’ve wanted to go to Iowa since I was 5 years old,” Martin said Monday, in summarizing her decision to play for the Iowa women’s basketball team.

“I’ve followed them since I was young. I was raised a Hawkeye fan. It was a no-brainer.”

A 6-foot junior guard, Martin visited over the weekend, and finalized her decision on the way home.

Martin’s mother is the sister of Julie Fitzpatrick, partner of Iowa assistant coach Jan Jensen.

Her father, Matt, is the head football coach and assistant track coach at Edwardsville, home of prized UI football recruit A.J. Epenesa.

Martin averaged 14 points per game last season as Edwardsville went 30-1 and reached the Illinois Class 4A state-championship game, which it lost 41-40 on a last-second shot by Geneva.

She picked Iowa over Wisconsin, DePaul, Saint Louis and Illinois.

Martin is the second member of the Class of 2018 to commit to the Hawkeyes. She joins Monika Czinano, a 6-3 post from Watertown, Minn.

Jinaya Houston of Davenport North is the lone incoming player for next season.

Iowa was 20-14 last season and reached the WNIT quarterfinals.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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