COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Pitino lands Martin County standout

Martin County captured the 15th Region basketball championship this past March, thanks in part to the state’s all-time shot block leader and upcoming senior Trey James.

The 6-foot, 10-inch post player for the Cardinals, who decommited from Wake Forest University in April following the firing of coach Danny Manning, will play on the collegiate level at Iona University.

Iona head coach Rick Pitino landed James, who averaged 14.6 points per games and 11.1 rebounds this past season, had narrowed his final choices to the Gaels, Iowa and Marquette.

James said Pitino recruited him from day one.

“They (Iona) want to win a national championship and they believe I can help them to new heights,” James said.

The Cardinals had last reached the boys Sweet 16 in 1983 as Sheldon Clark. Old Inez High School won the county’s only championships in 1941 and 1954.

With James and a talented cast returning in 2021, Martin County will be favored to repeat as regional champs.