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Martinez signs with UC Merced
CV girls basketball star will continue her playing career with Bobcats
Brittany Martinez will continue her basketball career and education at UC Merced in 2013-14. The Central Valley High School senior post player earned a partial scholarship. - photo by Dale Butler

Brittany Martinez is staying close to home.

The Central Valley High School senior will continue her basketball career and study molecular biology at UC Merced. She has a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average.

Martinez signed her national letter of intent with the Bobcats last month.
She was also recruited by William Jessup University, Cal State Stanislaus, Cal State East Bay, Occidental College and Merced College.

"I feel very blessed and really lucky," said Martinez, Central Valley's all-time greatest post player. "I get to compete at the next level on a scholarship. It's a dream come true."

Added Hawks head coach Jesse Padilla: "I wish her the best."

Promoted to varsity as a sophomore, Martinez improved her production each season.

Brittany earned first-team, all-Western Athletic Conference honors the past two years.

She averaged 14.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 2.4 steals per game as Central Valley compiled an 11-14 overall record and placed fourth in the conference play (4-4) in 2012-13.

Martinez finished second in WAC MVP voting as a junior. She averaged 11.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 1.5 steals for the Hawks, who went 19-6, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the second year in a row and successfully defended their WAC title (10-2).

Central Valley reached unprecedented heights during Brittany's sophomore year. The Hawks accomplished two firsts by winning a league title and advancing to the playoffs. Martinez averaged 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

Brittany's teams posted a 5-1 record against crosstown-rival Ceres High.

"I had the best experience a high-school athlete could have," Martinez said. "I'm pretty proud of everything I've done. But I wasn't the only one who put in the effort. We all played a part in making history."

Accompanied by Ceres Shock AAU head coach Delvekio Rudd, Brittany took an official visit to UC Merced on Feb. 8.

Martinez was awarded a partial athletic scholarship.

She'll live in the dorms.

"They gave me the best offer and it's closer to home," Martinez said.

The Bobcats compiled a 3-21 overall record and placed fourth in the California Pacific Conference (2-8) during their first season of competition as a NAIA Division-II member in 2012-13.

"I'm setting bigger goals for myself since I'm competing at a higher level," Martinez said. "It's going to be a great experience. I'm excited. I'm a little nervous. They're expecting a lot from me."

"Her foot work and scoring inside have improved," Rudd said. "Once she increases her endurance, she'll do very well. She's going to be a force at the next level. She'll be the centerpiece of that program."

Just like at Central Valley.