“Definitely went from humble beginnings. The grind is definitely real. ”
DALAS – 50 yards from Interstate 30 in East Dallas is a private indoor basketball court.
The south-facing exterior wall features murals of deceased black icons – actor Chadwick Bowzman, rappers Tupac, Nipsi Hasle and Notorious BIG, boxer and civil rights activist Mohammed Ali, singer Alia and basketball legend.
Any day NBA and college stars will show up for training.
Without pomp. No circumstances. Just a ball.
The coach is Tim Martin, one of the most respected skills coaches in the basketball community.
“It’s crazy because his work ethic is second to none, and I think that’s why we get along so well,” praised Philadelphia 76ers rising star Tyrese Maxi.
Maxi has been training with Martin since he was a freshman at South Garland High School.
“We have a relationship where they are family-oriented,” Max added. “I can talk to him about anything.”
It’s definitely a family atmosphere.
Tim’s son, Christian, is in charge of rehearsals and talking to athletes.
“He’s like a little brother, so I just try to take care of him as much as I can,” smiles Maxi, who sometimes acts as a temporary babysitter in between classes.
Christian grew up in the gym, an 11-year-old teenager with beautiful handles and a sharp jump.
When Christian was 1 year old, Tim set up a barricade for him on the basketball court so he could play with his toys, and Tim coached elementary and high school kids.
“Certainly gone from humble beginnings,” said Tim. “The broom is definitely real.”
Tim was born in Arlington, Texas, most of his childhood, traveling to Texas and the Southwest with his mother.
“Very nomadic,” Tim recalled. “Every time the rent had to be paid, we moved.”
For 12 years, Tim attended 11 schools from elementary to high school.
“I felt at home when I was on the court,” Tim recalled. “Basketball has always been the thing I could relax to. That was the only consistent thing for me. ”
Tim played high school ball in New Mexico. He received an offer from Pepperdine in Division I, but due to poor grades had to enroll in junior college.
His D1 dreams were cut short at JUCO, after his ankle exploded.
Having nowhere to turn, he moved to Dallas and met his father for the first time.
He established a relationship with the other side of the family who had good connections in the Dallas High School basketball community.
Tim’s two cousins are Jason and Jeryl Sasser, who starred in Kimball High School before playing in the NBA.
Shortly after arriving in Dallas, Tim returned to the court as a coach.
He has assisted in basketball camps for former Mavericks Josh Howard and Devin Harris.
He started coaching children of all ages.
All to turn an idea into a career.
“Everything went well for a while, but when my son was born, I felt my difficulties,” Tim explained.
Tim was 23 years old when Christian was born.
The money was tight. Tim and Christian’s mom struggled to make ends meet.
They parted, and Tim could not afford housing.
“I was homeless for six to seven months,” Tim described.
Even though he had friends or family he could ask, Tim decided to get out of the situation.
“I was very proud at the time and never wanted to ask anyone for help,” Tim admitted. “I’ve always been the type of person, I didn’t want to impose my struggle on anyone.”
For the next seven months, Tim slept in the back seat of his car.
“Just so the police or someone wouldn’t look in my car, I would park in front of the houses if there was an open place to look like I lived there,” Tim explained.
He woke up at 6 am and drove up to the parking lot of the Farmers recreation center.
He took a shower in the locker room and shaved in the sink.
“And then, when I could make some money from the training of some players, I rented a room in a motel,” – said Tim. “These days I go and pick up Christian [from his mom’s place] and he will stay with me in this little motel. “
In the end, Tim’s car was taken away.
All he has left is joint custody of his son and two garbage bags with clothes.
“Once it reaches the bottom, it can’t get any worse,” Tim noted. “So I started to turn that feeling more into optimism.”
At the darkest time he was received by a friend and given to sleep.
For two years he slept on a “little brown couch” in the apartment.
“Without that experience, I would never have been who I am today,” Tim said.
Over time, Tim increased his bank account and list of players for training.
Former Kimball High School star Jawn Evans was the first to perform the song.
Evans was named McDonald’s All-American in 2015, and that caught Tim’s attention.
“My name exploded from that aspect, and now I’m here,” Tim smiled.
Atlanta Hawks star Trey Young trained a little with Tim while Tre was in high school in Oklahoma.
Prospects in the NBA Draft Andrew Jones, an inspiring young man from Irving MacArthur High School who starred in Texas after beating a cancer diagnosis, started working with Tim when he was 15.
Brooklyn Nets forward Nick Claxton, Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington and dozens of other college stars and NBA pros have shared the hard rock with a man Jones calls a “guru”.
“He’s like Yoda,” Jones said.
A man who traveled constantly as a child now travels around the world.
He has coached children in Cameroon, China and France, including Victor Vembanyamu – a potential number one in the 2023 NBA Draft.
“I’ve always longed for stability, to have a home,” Tim said. “I needed to understand what home really meant to me?”
Tim found stability while still traveling and expanding his interests.
He goes to opera and appreciates art and architecture.
All to get away from basketball – only for a short time.
“What Tim is doing, I want to do the same,” Jones said. “He inspired me to create my own fund. To teach a bunch of kids like me. ”
Tim became a role model for some of the game’s rising stars.
But most of all, he continued to be a real father and teacher to whoever was there from day one – his son.
“I don’t take anything for granted at this stage of my life,” Tim said. “I feel extremely happy where I kind of vessel. I’m happy to bless others. And that’s really what it’s about.”