Kelan Martin (born August 3, 1995) is an American college basketball player for the Butler Bulldogs. He has completed his junior season on the 2016–17 team.


Martin comes from a basketball family. His father, Kenneth was on the state championship team at Louisville’s Ballard High School in Louisville and won a NCAA Division II championship at Kentucky Wesleyan. His mother, the former Kristie Jordan, was honored with a retired jersey at Ballard and competed for an NCAA runner-up team at Western Kentucky. They met at the age of eight growing up in housing projects in downtown Louisville and married after college. Today Kenneth works as assistant director of pupil personnel for Jefferson County Public Schools, while Kristie works in administration monitoring Louisville’s police budget. Kelan has a younger brother, Kameron, and was raised with cousin Jalil Brown, the son of Kristie’s deceased sister.

Growing up, Kelan preferred football to basketball, and was so much bigger than his peers in youth football that some parents asked for a birth certificate. He competed for Louisville Legends summer teams in middle school, where he was nicknamed “Baby Shaq” by Rajon Rondo. In high school, he competed for the AAU team Indiana Elite, where future Louisville player Quentin Snider starred. Martin measured 6-5 as a freshman at Ballard High School and started several games. He quit football as a sophomore and improved his running ability. As a junior, Martin guided Ballard to the Sweet 16 in Kentucky, recording 23 points and 14 rebounds in the Bruins’ 59-55 victory over Montgomery County at Rupp Arena. In the championship, Martin scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, but Madison County beat Ballard 65-64. He averaged 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds as a junior and was named to the Second Team All-State.

Coach Chris Renner called Martin’s senior year the best season of any player he coached at Ballard. The Bruins were ranked number 1 in Kentucky. Although outshone by Quentin Snider, Martin scored 16 points in an overtime loss to Trey Lyles-led Arsenal Tech. He had 28 points, including the deciding 3-pointer, when Ballard beat Myles Turner and Trinity High School (Euless, Texas) 72-70. In another game against Doss High School, Martin scored 36 points, and coach Renner started isolating him from practices since he overwhelmed team scrimmages. The season ended when the Bruins lost to Trinity High School (Louisville) in the regional championship 59-58. He scored 2,014 points in his career, third in school history. As a senior, Martin averaged 22.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, shooting 37 percent from three-point range.

His first recruiting offer was from IUPUI, coached by his father’s high school teammate Todd Howard. Martin was first recruited to Butler by Brad Stevens, and his recruitment continued under Brandon Miller. He considered Providence, St. Louis, West Virginia and Oklahoma but chose Butler because he liked the coaches and players. When Snider decommitted from Illinois and selected Louisville, Martin’s friends thought he should follow suit but he remained firm in his commitment to the Bulldogs. He was ranked 139th nationally by and was a finalist for Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Kelan Martin
Power Forward
Louisville, KY Ballard High School 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Oct 8, 2013
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN:4/5 stars   ESPN grade: 80




By the time Martin arrived on campus, Chris Holtmann was the coach. On November 22, 2014, Martin had a season-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds in a win over Loyola (Md.). The following game, Martin had 17 points in 17 minutes in a 74-66 upset of fifth-ranked North Carolina. He was named Big East Rookie of the Week on March 9, 2015, after scoring 14 points against Providence. Martin averaged 7.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game.


He scored 35 points and grabbed eight rebounds in an 87-76 win against Georgetown on February 26, 2016, the most by a Butler player since 1998. .He was twice named the Big East Player of the Week on December 14 and February 8. On the season, he had eight double-doubles and 10 games with 20 or more points.

Martin averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore on a team led by Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones. He was marred by a slump at the end of the season. In the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament, Martin scored eight points in 51 seconds to propel the Bulldogs to a 71-61 win against Texas Tech. As a sophomore, Martin was named to the Second Team All-Big East. After the season, he lost some weight and attended an Adidas-sponsored camp in Long Beach, California.


Coming into his junior year, Martin was named to the Preseason First Team All-Big East. Martin was named Big East player of the week on December 19, 2016 after scoring 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting in a 83-78 victory over Indiana. He did this despite going scoreless for the first 15 minutes. He had 22 points on January 28, 2017 against Georgetown. In the final nine games of the season, after a slump in February, he came off the bench to average 17.7 points per game while shooting 50 percent. He was again named Big East player of the week on February 27, 2017, after a week in which he scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds in a 74-66 upset over Villanova and posted 25 points and seven rebounds in a 88-79 victory against Xavier.

Despite dealing with lower back spasms, Martin scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out four assists in Butler’s 74-65 victory over Middle Tennessee State to reach the Sweet 16. In his junior season, Martin led the Bulldogs in scoring (16.0 points per game) and rebounding (5.8 per game) while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 35 percent from behind the arc. He was one of 10 finalists for the Julius Erving Award as Division I’s top small forward. Martin was a Second Team All-Big East selection as a junior. The National Association of Basketball Coaches named Martin to the All‐District 5 Second Team. on March 22. After the season, Martin did an internship with a TV station WTHR-13, working in video production and editing. He did not enter the NBA Draft, since he wants to improve his mobility, and he is cooking his own food as a means of controlling his diet.