It’s seldom Dillon Martino isn’t the biggest kid on the court when he pulls on his Fort Myers Christian School basketball jersey.
At 5-foot-11 he can easily be featured in the post for an entire game but the 14-year-old eighth-grader brings the ball up the court and plays around the perimeter.
Martino poured in 21 points while adding 18 rebounds, six assists and five steals in a 42-21 win Jan. 10 against Sanibel.
These numbers aren’t anything out of the ordinary for Martino, who is averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds through seven games. He has a career high of 33 points earlier this season.
Although he is the team’s best player, he loves getting teammates involved just like his favorite NBA player, Lebron James. And he plays in a pair of James’ signature silver and green Lebron 8 P.S. Dunkman shoes.
Playing the team game is a principle Fort Myers Christian coach John O’Brien has instilled through 20 years of coaching basketball, including two years with Martino on his squad.
“Something I try to tell all the kids on the team is basketball is a team game,” O’Brien said. “It’s not one man against five it’s five against five. Every player on the team has a role they have to play.
“Dillon has excellent floor vision and he is a very unselfish player. It’s an asset for him to be that, he can pass, he can shoot, he can dribble and can rebound. He can do it all.”
Born in Beverly Hills, Martino moved to Fort Myers four years ago with his mother, Lia Martino, in an attempt to get him away from the lifestyle of the affluent city.
“I didn’t want to raise Dillon in Beverly Hills and be like those Beverly Hills boys,” Lia Martino said. “The kids were just spoiled they would run up to me and say can you hold my Rolex. I was like you’re 10. I didn’t like the exposure.”
The Martinos will soon have to decide where Dillon will attend high school. His mother said she wants to expose him to the economic diversity of a public school but enjoys the private school setting he’s in, especially with his strong Christian beliefs.
Dillon said he has no idea of where he wants to attend school yet and is more concerned with the remainder of this year. Fort Myers Christian is 5-2 with less than two weeks remaining before the middle school playoffs begin.
“We always have to push ourselves in practice,” Martino said. “We always run our hearts out no one has quit on their running. We’re just trying to build up our endurance and get better.”