Ryan Martin went to the University of Maine to pursue his dream of playing Division I basketball.
Two years later, the sophomore from Wayne is ready to get back to playing.
Martin on Wednesday announced his intention to transfer from UMaine to another school, probably at the Division III level.
“Right now, it’s gotten to the point where I’m not all about trying to prove people wrong,” said the 5-foot-9 shooting guard. “I’m going to do what makes me happy. Fifteen to 20 years from now, I want to be able to say I played college basketball.”
Also Wednesday, UMaine announced Jerrell Boswell, a junior college transfer, is departing after one season to pursue other opportunities.
Martin, a three-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine pick out of Maranacook High School in Readfield, is ready to move on.
“It was a complete change going from the top guy to pretty much one of the guys near the bottom,” he said. “I think it definitely made me stronger and a better basketball player and a better person.”
Martin hasn’t decided on a school, but is interested in Keene State, a Division III school in New Hampshire.
“Ryan’s a wonderful young man,” said UMaine head coach Ted Woodward. “We appreciate all the hard work he’s done for our basketball team. I think he’s grown immensely over the last couple of years.”
“He’s excited to have an opportunity to get back to a place where he has a chance to be a real impact guy,” he added.
Martin appeared in 10 games as a freshman walk-on at UMaine during 2008-09, playing a total of 54 minutes. He scored a career-best 20 points in a game against the University of Maine-Presque Isle.
Martin sat out last season as a redshirt and worked out as a point guard. He said it became apparent he was not a good fit at the Division I level.
“Definitely the size of the players on the perimeter and inside taking the ball to the basket was a bigger challenge than in high school,” Martin said.
Martin said his UMaine experience has been beneficial.
“Just playing against players that are just as good, if not better, than me, pushing me every day in practice,” Martin said. “I also got to play point guard every day, which was the first time in my career I’ve ever done that. That should help me.”
He also commended Woodward for allowing him the opportunity to walk on with the Black Bears.
“He’s very supportive,” Martin said. “He was honest with me right from the beginning. He knew it would be an uphill battle for me every day in practice in Division I.”
At Maranacook, Martin helped his team win Class B state championships in 2006 and 2008. He averaged 23.7 points per game as a senior en route to 1,899 career points.
Boswell transferred to UMaine last summer from Snead State Community College in Alabama. The 6-foot guard appeared in 11 games, logging only 40 minutes.
“Jerrell just expressed a desire to be closer to home [in Covington, Ga.],” Woodward said.