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Even as an innocent teenager at Lincoln High School bound for the national stage, Martin's generosity and character followed him at every step, Ellis said. Lewis rendered a culture of team play over individualism, Ellis said, on a group with strong personalities and more than one future professional — Ellis and Martin.
It's a staple that's become embodied in Martin's own coaching philosophy."I told (the current Missouri basketball players), 'Whether you like it or not, you are a part of this community, and we have to make it work together,'" Martin said.
"Even though it's in a different arena, but just to be in his presence, because of what he meant and represented.""Even those tough times we need everyone on board, because you have to understand that our staff will do everything in our power to be successful," Martin said.
Martin said it wasn't a knock on Missouri as a basketball school.
Melvin Booker, one of his best friends, even played for the Tigers and earned All-America status. Now, he's found his way back to 1 Champions Drive, albeit under difficult circumstances.
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