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Zach Martini | Princeton Tigers Junior Forward

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2023 6:16 am

Zach Martini | Princeton Tigers Junior Forward

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 21, 2023 6:16 am

 Jr. Forward for the Cinderella Story Princeton Tigers Zach Martini joins the show.


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That's positive. Hear the story of Princeton Men's Basketball through his eyes, through his perspective. It's not a fluke. This wasn't just magic and this team is fearless, is resilient. Those are the words that I keep hearing about Princeton.

So even as they gather themselves and get ready for a battle against Creighton, that will take place in Louisville in the south region. Zach's so willing to talk about the emotions and the experience of the last week. Zach as a kid growing up, think about March Madness and playing on the game's biggest stage. Did you envision this? Is it as good as what you thought when you were younger?

My driveway. Counting down the shot clock, 3-2-1 hitting the shot like that. Being in March Madness and then just to go out and live that dream has been special and I couldn't think of a better group of guys to deal with and I'm glad we're playing. We're still playing and had this opportunity. Yeah and what have the last, let's call it the last 48 hours or so been like for you, for your teammates and for your coach who I'm seeing everywhere right now.

Right, yeah. We're getting a lot of press like you mentioned. It's special and our coach said to enjoy this moment. This is a rare thing we're doing.

The first time Princeton's been in the sweet 16 since the tournament was expanded. Our phones are blowing up like crazy. It's kind of funny, after we beat Arizona we went out to super nice dinner as a team and our coach comes over to our table. He's like, can you guys just be present for once? I mean we're just, there's so many notifications, so many people congratulating us.

I mean the saying glued to your phone was really true at that moment. Not only do you guys have the opportunity to play on, your women's team also won a game so it's the first time in history that both the Tigers men's and women's basketball teams have won in the same year. So what's it like on campus these days? It was fun. Today the first class I had, we had class today. 130 walked into class and my fellow classmates gave me a standing ovation.

That's, yeah, something I never would have thought of. So the school spirit's been great. Professors have been great. They're reaching out to us over email. The girls team will arrive.

They're flying back from Utah tonight so I'm sure they'll all receive the same welcoming tomorrow. All right, let's talk about this a little bit then because as you mentioned you're in your spring semester. You had class today. So when did you get back to campus?

We took the red eye from Sacramento at about 9 30 pacific time on Saturday. So we got back to campus, we got back to campus yesterday about 8 a.m. Yeah, it's been a pretty eventful weekend. Pretty exhausting. In addition to just absorbing everything and the notifications, the the phones blowing up, have you had a chance to rest at all, Zach?

No, not really. Things are happening at such a high speed, high pace. Thankfully when we got back from Sacramento I got back to my room and I fell asleep from 8 a.m. to noon. So no, I mean after Arizona it was such a crazy feeling. I woke up at 6 a.m. the next day and was like wow that really just happened. I couldn't go back to sleep. It was just so exciting.

Oh that's awesome. Zach Martini is with us from Princeton where they are back on campus but soon will be on their way to the Sweet 16 to take on Creighton and that comes up Friday in Louisville. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. It's really neat that your coach was involved in Princeton's previous 15 over a two upset but how much did that ever come up or how much you know has your coach ever mentioned it? Yeah, I'll say this is a notorious photo of coach jumping for joy after they beat UCLA. It's all over campus.

It's right outside our weight room. So he's really happy that there should be a new photo replacing his photo. Happy for the school and happy for us. He hates that photo he says. I'm sure he loves it buddy. It's nice to have a new photo coming in. Yeah for sure.

I actually remember that moment when I was younger and it was stunning at the time the hall of famer Pete Carril and just yeah that back door cut and layup. It's awesome. It seems very evident. You guys have such a calm, a poise. The stage does not seem too big for you.

Where does that come from Zach? I think we just from top to bottom staff included we really believe that we should that we belong there. Coach reiterates that he's preparing us to win the game and let's see from Monday right after we won the Ivy League Championship up until Thursday we were preparing to win the game and we felt confident in our game plan and our personnel and who we are and this is a resilient group. We lost a really tough game to Yale a few weeks ago in the regular season. We blew a big lead and I think we need to go through some adversity. Prior to that part of the season we were not smooth sailing but we just really didn't hit a low point. I think that low point really made us who we are right now. I want to go back if you don't mind to a couple years ago would have been your freshman year right that Ivy League basketball were canceled. Yeah and I remember because I was working with Columbia and it was stunning to think about how the Ivy League was the only conference in the country that didn't play at all.

Oh yeah. Going back to those days working for so long and trying to to focus on basketball and yet it was months and months and months that you weren't able to play games. I think we're just finally reaping the fruit of our labor. The juniors and seniors have been here since that pandemic year and I mean I remember just watching the tournament the last two years knowing that we had a real shot and we had a real chance to be there. And to really just really see that into fruition has been amazing. Like I said this is a resilient group and it's almost like we knew that once we got this opportunity we wouldn't let it go to waste. Looking back now all of those months when you knew the payoff wasn't coming anytime soon was it all worth it? Oh totally.

Absolutely. I mean our freshman year here was really really strange. Practicing with masks on or practicing but like there was no end goal right. We weren't playing games we were just kind of just getting to know each other for the first time at least I was a freshman that was my perspective of it.

But yeah if you told me I had to sacrifice one year to go to the future's game I would take it. Perfect way to put it. Junior Zach Martini of Princeton is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. What do you want people to know about who you guys are and how you approach this game? I can't say it enough this is a gritty group. We're going to give you we're going to give everyone our best shot and we believe in each other even in the toughest of moments down 12 to Arizona late in the second half. There's a there's a belief when coach says we're winning this game that we believe and we're going to win this game and we're going to go out and do it. And the joy we have the joy we play kind of exudes off us. We play for one another and playing for one another ends up getting us shots selfishly so this is a fun fun team to watch really fun team to be a part of.

I'm glad we're able to show it show the national stage who we are. The two different games that you've played now to get the sweet 16 they're very different right so the game that you just played in the round of 32 I'm not saying it was easy but it wasn't a nail-biter right to the very end right that game against Arizona the way you all closed it out with was it a 9-0 run at the end? Yeah I believe they didn't score the last four minutes of the game. Right as that is happening and it was like the rebounds you were getting to but what's happening on your bench and on the court there as that is playing out and you're able to rally and then put together that great finish. Coach mentioned you know if this is a team that wants to knock you out we'll take a 12-0 run so each time they went on a little run he was in a call timeout and we used all our timeouts pretty early in the game. I think the last five minutes of the game we didn't have any timeouts left so we knew we had to keep it close and we knew coach was going to keep it close and then once we finally got the lead Ryan Langborg he made a tough layup to finally get the lead we're like all right we're not losing this thing and then we didn't right we weren't leading for much of the game but the end of the game was when just we were laser focused on defense. Yeah I mean I want to say I can't believe it but we really believe that once we got the lead we were capable of finishing the game and it was special to be a part of being on the court.

Um once once we realized we had the game won um I was feeling like no other yeah. This is what March Madness is all about but the fact that that you lived it and now you all are a Cinderella why did you pick Princeton though what was the reason that you decided that's where you wanted to play? Yeah great question um I actually I'm from New Jersey I live I live about 45 minutes north of campus and when I was being recruited by Princeton I got the opportunity to come down here and play pick up a lot of the guys and I realized that the people on the team are equally as important to me as the school was um academics academics aside I mean can't go wrong with Princeton any Ivy League schools but just the teammates the people were good people I felt felt I could be myself around them I felt I felt wanted by the coaching staff um and uh I love New Jersey I've lived here my whole life I got pride for the state so been a perfect fit I think. How cool is it then that because you're close to home your family and friends get to see you play as well?

Yeah it's great um whenever I need a home cooked meal my mom can always bring something to the game so it's pretty it's pretty convenient yeah. As close as you are to your teammates then how cool is it to see the performance that Ryan had or even Blake Peters the threes that he's nailing in the second half right you really care about your teammates you love them to death to see them step up and perform on stage. Blake Peters I mean the kid makes tough shots and he's done it all year I mean if you look at the the like the amount of points he scores per minutes he plays it's crazy he he's so he's so efficient and he's just he's not afraid of the big moment I mean I think he I think he'd score all his points in the final 10 minutes of the game or something like that and then Ryan got us where we were in that game I think he scored 11 of our first 13 points he was unconscious coming out the game he was upset he had a tough shooting game against Arizona but I mean he bounced back in a huge way I mean him and Blake's contributions were unbelievable. Your coaches used the word fearless a bunch why did that describe your team? Against Arizona we knew we knew we had a huge size difference the kids that the the players I was guarding Tabelis and Balo probably both had six inches on me yeah but heart is immeasurable will to win is immeasurable being the underdog on the on that big stage it's you have to play fearless and you have to play free if you if you really want to get done because I mean these are you got to respect your opponent these guys are big time top 12 players but our will to win was contagious um I mean we we we me personally I pride myself on playing hard playing tough nose basketball and I I think I think it showed for all of us this this last weekend on and I think it's going to continue for Creighton. Hey if the Jets can land Aaron Rodgers in a trade I feel like anything can happen yeah yeah I'm a I'm a diehard Jets fan I am so pumped up about Aaron Rodgers you have no idea I'm so glad you said that I mean they've already got his favorite receiver so now it's just better getting that deal done uh the Packers have no leverage I don't know what they're doing Joe Joe Joe Douglas is one of the best GMs out there that's no bias he he he knows what he's doing I got trust in Joe I know he's not going to sign Randall Cobb and Mercedes Lewis unless that's really part of Rodgers's demands. Daniel I'm pumped up yeah yeah I can I can hear that not just that but I love the way that sauce gardener Breece Hall and also Garrett Wilson were willing to go out and they're recruiting them I mean that was that was a big moment for sauce and to burn the cheese head uh it's a nice little uh peace treaty I think Aaron I'm um yeah I I love the Jets I'm wearing I'm wearing a Jets t-shirt right now actually there you go that's awesome well whenever the dust settles of on your basketball season and however far you go we would love to have you back on the show to talk Jets football Zach that would be fun that's that's that's that's a dream yeah I would love that yeah I don't know what you're studying but it sounds like you could hold your own with some Jets talk so we can do that I can't I I pride myself on on Jets and whatever is second in my list is far from the Jets awesome well and as I just look at your Twitter struggling New York Jets fan that's oh yeah that's me yeah all right you can find Zach Martini on Twitter at Zach Martini five five eight seven uh lots of cool photos on the Princeton Men's Basketball Twitter as well we are rooting for you I think the nation is on board Zach thank you so much that means a lot yeah congratulations appreciate it honestly the economy got a little scary in 2022 and that could continue in 2023 it's okay to admit when money gets stressful but what if you had an objective relatable expert to help navigate the financial world that's where nerd wallets smart money podcast comes in smart money hosts Sean Piles and Sarah Rathner talk with experts from nerd wallets team of 100 money nerds to help you make smart financial decisions without distress subscribe to nerd wallets smart money podcast today what's up everybody nick costos here college basketball is about to get crazy and bet ql makes it easier than ever to cash your bets bet ql analyzes every single tournament matchup so you can succeed with your bracket pools and individual game bets which teams will pull off an upset who's going to cover the spread bet ql handles all the hard work so you can win more consistently head to bet today to start your three-day free trial that's bet bet today to start your three-day free trial
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 08:43:01 / 2023-03-21 08:49:47 / 7

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