Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 3 years ago

Ryan Martin | Average to Savage EP25

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the twenty-fifth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring professional wheelchair basketball player Ryan Martin. Paul Guarino talked with Ryan Martin discussing his life growing up, playing professional wheelchair basketball overseas, his foundation The Ryan Martin Foundation. Follow Ryan Martin https://www.instagram.com/ryanmartin06/ https://twitter.com/RyanMartin06 https://www.facebook.com/TheRyanMartinFoundation/ Powered by RISE Brewing Co, https://risebrewingco.com/

This is the average to savage podcast with Paul Greno, everyone in anyone, athletes set's and much more. WHAT'S UP, everybody? On back for another episode of average Svens podcasts or special guests. Today is Pro Wheelchair Basketball Player and Speaker Ryan Martin. How's it going, Ryan, good? Thank you. Thanks for making the time to have me on the put. Yeah, for sure. So can you give us a brief summary About Yourself? So My name is Ryan Martin's wheelchair basketball player. Currently I played for the New York Rowing Knicks and the NWBA. It's The wheelchair basketball team that's affiliated with the New York Knicks. When I'm not on the Basketball Court, I run my nonprofit that does that. Focuses on sports camps and programming for individuals with disability, such as veterans and kids, and we have programming here in Connecticut in various US cities as well. Over in Madrid, Spain. I spent ten years of my life leaving in Europe, playing wheelchair basketball, spent in Madrid, Spain, and then to bouncing around France and, you know, enjoying that experience. Yeah, for sure. So when did you start playing basketball? I come from a family of twelve, where my parents adopted kids with special needs and so we, you know, basketball was kind of the sport we played as a family. So I started playing when I was about thirteen or fourteen and didn't really find wheelchair basketball per se until I was about sixteen years old. I started playing with this adult team that was in my area, the Connecticut spoke vendors and, you know, different things like that. So I was late to finding the sport, you know, pursely, just because there's not as much opportunities for, you know, youth athletes with disabilities and you know, that was probably my experience growing up. Looking for those opportunities was, you know, really one of the principal motivators for me to starting my own nonprofit and trying to create more opportunities for kids too,...

...you know, who were going through the same stuff that I did. For sure. For sure. Where do? Where did you go to college and would you study for study there? Yes, I went to southwest Minnesota State University. There is, I think there's currently fifteen universities that have collegiate wheelchair basketball, you know, and they're spread out across the country. So I went on a basketball scholarship out there I ended up getting my degree and secondary education with the emphasis and social sciences. You know, aside from offering me a scholarship, was highly regarded for their educational program in creating teachers and different things like that. So and that's always been a passion and I think, you know, it's something that I still do today, but it kind of finds itself more in, you know, running programs as opposed to running classrooms. For sure, in you're from Connecticut, right, correct. How did you end up kind of school of Minnesota? You know, I mean there wasn't, you know, there wasn't a lot of options. You know, I wanted to play basketball, you know, at the collegiate level, and I wanted to get a good education, and so for me, it was always going to you know, I was always going to have to leave the state of Connecticut to do that, you know, and just when you know, I looked for you know, it's kind of like what we tell the kids are our program you know, you kind of know when you get there if it's the right fit for you. And you know, when I visited campus and, you know, met with the coaches and met with some professors and different things like that, it was just the right fit. You know it would. It's a small world. You collog university that you know is two hours from the nearest airport, if you will. So you know the kind of paint a picture of where it is. You know, and you know fondly, I say, they kill you with tyingess up there. You know that midwest values and different things like that. So it was a great experience, I wouldn't you know. It allowed me to be where I am today and, you know, definitely open doors from the basketball perspective, you know, being able to go play in Europe and now, you know, being able to play on such a such a high quality team here in New York. For sure, for sure. So yeah, so after college you went immediately to pro basketball overseas. There was a gap a little bit.

I moved down to the Phoenix and I started playing for the Phoenix wheelchair sons, another end of you bea affiliated team with ties to the end of NBA team, and you know candidly I was doing that. And you know you don't make a lot of money. You don't make any money because it's all amateur sports to the only money. You know, if you played the NDWA might be through endorsements or speaking engagements and different things like that. So I actually was teaching full time while I was in Phoenix and one of my one of my good friends, you know in college roommates, had went right after undergraduate school to go play in Italy and, you know, he was like Hey, man, why don't you come out, you know, and Lo and behold, you know, he had set up this, you know, this try out for me. So I'm, you know, freshly jet lags flying from the US over to Spain. You know, how to try out, play well enough in to try out, got a you know, got my foot in the door, sort of speak, with a one year contract and then just it kind of blew up from there. But I, you know, I never anticipated, you know this, you know what wheelchap basketball would do for me as a individual person from a development standpoint, from a confidence standpoint, you know, in different things of those natures, as well as having such a long, you know, Cup of coffee, if you will, living in Europe playing basketball. Yeah, for sure. So you said you played in Spain for eight years. So did you play for like one team, ormotile teams, or how was that? And No, I played for one team. I played for a Tofe, which will you know, which is one of the Madrid teams. You know, Madrids devised it. You know, if you anything about Spain, like in Madrid, it's divided of like seven little parts and you know, so I was in the southern part of Madrid. You know, got to experience living in, you know, a really, really cool city, picking up the Langue, which kicking up the culture and different things like that, you know, and I've probably spent more time, you know, aside from my childhood home, I probably spend more time in Madrid than any other place as an adult. And...

...so I you know, I a tractiately refer to it, as you know, my second home and you know, always have a little bit of, you know, a soft spot of my heart for Spain and especially my time in Madrid. For sure, for sure. And then, I know you said you played in France for two years. So who's a what was the experience like living in France versus Spain? It was really interesting because, you know, I lived one year in the south of France where, you know, like near that central pay. It was a small city called yet it and I lived there and you know, it's near central pay in Monaco, so you got two big boats. You know. I lived, you know, probably two minutes away from, you know, a beautiful beach and different things like that, which, you know, especially living in the northeast right now where it's cold all the time and you know, it's you know, I got to the frost my car before I go anywhere, type of thing. It was a really, really awesome experience that. I mean France, from like North the southeast to west, is just such a beautiful country and I really grew to, you know, even though it was only two years there, to appreciate the culture, you know, and some of the unique experiences they're you know, my last year playing over in Europe, I lived in Paris, which is, you know, which is a definitely a very cool experience, you know, as far as just spend that much time and, you know, one of the kind of iconic cities and, you know, in the world. If for sure, did you get to pick up any Spanish or French? French? Yeah, I speak fluent Spanish. I can I can have up some French. You know, it's I think it made a French speaker would look at me like I had two heads. But you know, I think had I had a little more time, I would have ended up picking it up because, you know, the threat after I learned Spanish, you know, acquire in that third language seems a little bit easier. But you know, I've never been a person who is, you know, really academically inclined, but being totally immersed into that culture, you know, you you can't help but pick up some language out of that. If sure, learning on the job. Sure, like accessibility wise overseas,...

...like is it accessible or not, like versus over in the US, like anything, if you know, if you really, if you really are passionate about getting to the you know, to that Tor side or whatever, you know, it's definitely possible. I wouldn't say it's as friendly as you know here in the United States, where we have, you know, Ada, but the one thing I think is really, really different is, you know, I think they go out of their way to, you know, make things accessible. I remember, like when I was in Venice, you know, and obviously a city that's partially, you know, almost all under water, that's not necessarily the most easy thing for a person in a wheelchair to navigate, and I just remember the people being so friendly and just bending over backwards to, you know, help help accommodate it. You know, it even when I went to Rome and Roms, the city of ancient ruins, and like, you know, getting around there in a wheelchair, you know, when the sidewalk is basically on the road and you've got these little feed up screaming by behind you and you're like, you know, it looks like us. You know, it looks like a scene out of oceans eleven or something like that. You know, I think they're making strides. I think they're a little bit further behind in the US and I think a lot of you know the fact that it their older cities and they're older buildings and different things like that affect them. But I think from an inclusive stamp point of you know, trying to make things accessible, I think they're I think they're, you know, they're heading in the right direction. But you know, I always tell people when I do interviews and they'll ask me, you know, what were the two things that I missed or what were the some of the things that I missed when I was overseas, and I would always comment that, you know, I missed my family and then the accessibility, you know, the ease of you know, getting around the US is, you know, is second and Noun in my opinion. For sure, for sure. And how did you start the Ryan Marin Foundation and what's the goal of it? You know, I just realized that, you know, my story of using adaptive sports and whist robustible specifically, was an awesome opportunity, right...

...and you know, you're talking about a kid who was up, you know, has a disability, and you know it was adopted and you know had a lot of different challenges and you know, adaptive sports always kept me focused and you know, having a wheels, your basketball team did a lot for me and I can't you know, just like you know, sports does a lot for everybody, whether you're a person with a disability or not, and so I think I just really wanted to create that opportunity for more folks. You know, I just wanted kids. You know, I would see kids, you know, who were like ten, even twelve or thirteen, and when I would be home in the summertime, there's like, Oh man, Ryan, I want to be like you, and I'm like, oh, that's awesome. Yeah, like great, you can do it. And then I'm like, well, really, there's no vehicle or mechanism for that child to do that. And so, you know, the like I felt compelled to do that just because, you know, I think he just can't. In this world you got to get back, you know, you can't just take, take, take, take, take, and you know, this was my way of giving back for all the things that basketball has given me. Yeah, for sure. And what's like the yearly events or big events you guys run? Yes, so we you know, so we have two programs. We have one that runs in Madrid, Spain, and then we have one that runs here in Connecticut. And our Connecticut Program is, you know, has athletes from five different states. You know, it's Connecticut, Mass, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Islan. We have athletes from all there. And so we we do a series of camps in the summer months where we you know, it's you know, it's either an introductory level or as an advanced level for some of our advanced athletes. And you know, the whole idea is we just want to give them that opportunity and show them one of the sport can give them, you know, and we we go ahead and do a similar model. You know, it's truncated model in Madrid, Spain, where we do a couple of different clinics and camps during the summer months and then during the regular year we have folks out there who run the program and, you know, we advise from here in the US and...

I'll go over a couple of times a year to make sure everything, you know, kind of up to our standard of how we would like the program under our umbrella to be run. And so it's been great. You know, kids get to participate in year around basketball, whether they're joining a junior league and playing against teams from other cities like Philly, New York, Virginia, Baltimore, or they're just getting, you know, that opportunity to participating champs and just sign the sport for the first time. You know, I think the the my favorite part of what we do is, you know, when you get a kid in a wheelchair for the first time WHO's eight, nine, ten years old, he's never seen the sports, you know, and they get in a chair and in their faith lights up right, you know, because they know they found something that you know, whether they knew it and not, you know, eight or nine years old but it's going to give them something that they've been missing, you know, that chance to you know, just play, you know, for a lot of you know, for a lot of our kids, you know, especially the younger ones. You know, there's a lot of challenges and a lot of hurdles in their place and we want basketball, you know, to be kind of this this vehicle for, you know, inclusion and opportunity and different things like that. So, you know, we get a new kid into a chair and we get, you know, they're out on the court and they don't want to leave practice because, well, they finally found something. You know, that's you know, that's the benefit and that's you know, that's the best part about what we do. If sure, that's awesome. And I saw a former NBA player in Yukon, head coach Kevin Al we had a lot of your events and I was just trying to figure out how that all come about. Yes, okay, Kao's a Good Buddy of mine and, you know, he's been a really good supporter of, you know, all the stuff we've done with, you know, my nonprofit and I've helped out with some of the stuff that, you know, with his nonprofit. Endeavors and some of the charity stuff that he does, you know, but that's a genuine thing. You know, I knew I knew Ko when he was, you know, working out at six o'clock in the morning at a La Fitness Gym, you know, while he was a twelve man on NBA rosters, you know, still trying to you know, still trying to play basketball at...

...that level, you know, and we struck up a friendship and he's been you know, he's been super supportive, you know, to especially as I've transitioning from somebody who is trying to build my brand beyond just basketball in impact communities in a positive way. You know, he's been good. I can just fire him a text message and, you know, just ask them random questions and I truly appreciate his sport but you know, I think the one question people ask me they're like, well, how genuine there is that relationship? And you know, I consider him a friend first and foremost, and so, yeah, that just kind of happened from, you know, two guys at a gym working out, waiting, waiting to start doing full court drills, you know, several summers ago, and you know, it's kind of blossop into, you know, really nice friendship and then also a kind of a business relationship as well. And how did you become motivational speaker y? You know, I think that's it. I think that's the educator and me right and that's the I think that's the person who, you know, kind of wants to give back and you know, the platform is changed. You know, I'll go talk to a group of, you know, five individual kids, you know, in some school somewhere or you know, now it's more doing, you know, flying down the North Carolina and speaking at a university. They're speaking at a Yukon Yukon event or speaking, you know, at a major corporate event. It's kind of grown a little bit and, you know, my message is changed a lot. You know, I speak on the importance of, you know, inclusion in the in the classroom and in the workplace for individuals with disabilities. You know, I tell I tell a lot of my story as well as, you know, what we're doing for the foundation side of things as well, and so it's a you know, but I think that is definitely the teacher and me who you know, and part of the whole idea of me wanting to get back and just...

...kind of, you know, provide some wisdom, if you will. Sure, for sure. What do you like to do in your free time? When you're not speaking, you're playing basketball. You know, I run the day to day operations of, you know, international nonprofit. There's not a lot of freak and you know, like I think, I'm like everybody else. You know, I like to spend time with family, obviously, you know, coming from a family of twelve, you know, I anytime I can, you know, just kind of disconnect and spend time with, you know, my nieces or nephews or, you know, my siblings, is always great. You know, Lindsy, my better half. I spend a lot of time with her. She seems to take up quite a bit of my time, and I say that affectionately, hoping that she hears this podcast at some point. You know, it's just it's just kind of kind of normal stuff. Like to read. I like the beings Netflix shows when I'm in some random hotel, you know, like everybody, kind of like everybody else. Right, yeah, ready, ready for some fun questions? Yeah, let's go. So, if you were in pro baschuelle player, what do you think you'd be doing. I think I can already know the answer. Yeah, I think I would be teaching somewhere. That was easy one. Yeah, that was a little hanging true. Thanks for thanks for US softball in the start. And what about what's on your music playlist right now? It's a great question, as I had my iphone in my hands. You know, I'm really big in the podcast. Yeah, and a lot of my music selection is kind of like rap music, just for like workout music. Yeah, I'm pretty ECLECTIC. I can get with any type of music. Would probably the probably the exception of country music. Ex I don't hope you don't have a lot of country listeners on your podcast following. I think that. When I look at the last song I played was this Malatos for which is French rap music. So, like I said, I'm pretty ECLECTIC, but I spend more time listening to podcast and stuff like that and if it's music, it's usually rap music. Definitely definitely have to agree with you on the country music too. Yeah, man, it just never you know, I mean you know an awfulacs. I can tell you some some...

...funny stories about around that, but yeah, never really got into it and you know quick to change the station if that's what pops up. And for sure, your top five favorite basketball players of all time? Is it okay to count myself, you know? So I'm going myself first and foremost, you know, and then I'll pounce around. I think Kevin Garnett, you know, just because I love the passion that he played with as well. She's I would be missed. I would say. You know, my college teammate who's played multiple Paralympic Games. Just her has always just really impressed me as a basketball player. I would say, you know, Pat Anderstanding, who's, you know, considered the go of our sport for wheels, grop basketball as well. He's just been, he's on real to watch what he can do in a wheelchair and different things like that, you know. So I would say for for sure that would be for and then, like Saturday night, I was that I missed G and I got to see on us play in person and then I got something else too. So if you give me more than five, I could sit here all day and listen to them, but that's my five. Off The off the grip right there. All right, I like it. And what are your goals for two thousand and Nineteen Yeah, you know my goals for two thousand and nineteen. I'd like to see, you know, I'd like to see us repeat as as champions. You know, last year we were able to win the championship with within mix and I'd like to see that. I'd like to see us be able to repeat, which is going to be a challenge. I think you know, the Bulls eye is clearly on us now, if there wasn't on us before. You know, and I think you know, it's for it's easy to win once. It's easier to win once. Use Me, but to you know, to get over that mountain top of second time will be will be really interesting to see, for sure. For sure. Well, I appreciate you coming on the show and you tell listeners where they can find your on social media. On instagram and twitter it's Ryan Martin, zero and six, and then on Facebook, I don't know, how does it work on facebook them it is Ryan Mart Yeah, yeah, just Ryan Martin, and...

...then the foundation piss and then the foundation page, you know, is Ryan Martin. Foundation don't work, you know, in many you know, inquiries or questions about how that all works. You know, my contact information is definitely there as well. Sure we'll appreciate you have coming on and hope you have a good day. Likewise, sex time.

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