Whatever happened to Martin Iti, the talented 6-10 center who spent last year ineligible at Villa Park?
It's not easy to keep tabs on Martin Iti, the 6-10 center who spent last year ineligible at Villa Park High. After having bounced around from high school to high school over the last several years, Iti has again resurfaced, this time at Winchendon (Mass.) Winchendon School.
Iti spent last season at Villa Park ineligible to play high school basketball since the CIF Southern Section had determined that the teenager had exhausted his California high school eligibility. CIF had determined that, given the years he had spent in high school in his native Australia, and those spent in the States, that he had played four years.
At one point during his ineligible season last year, Iti had even verbally committed to USC.
Winchendon is, in fact, the sixth American high schoool Iti has attended in four states since he left Australia in 1998. Before Villa Park, Iti spent a year at Anaheim Servite.
Iti was a junior at Villa Park last season, but is repeating his junior year at Winchendon. Reportedly he was barely on track to graduate at Villa Park, but a spokesperson from Winchendon claims that Iti is getting mostly Bs and Cs.
Three NBA franchises have expressed possible interest in Iti, who has some nice, raw talent and athleticism. He hasn't played high school basketball since the 1999-2000 school year, when, being called a sophomore, he averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds a game. He's averaged 11 points a game so far this season at Winchdendon, but that's on a prep team that's loaded with potential D-1 prospects.
In his time in the States, Iti also had problems concerning his visa. At various times over the last couple of years, Iti was supposed to be deported. But a Winchendon spokesperson said that Iti's immigration status is now settled, with Iti holding a proper and valid student visa.