The Espanola Valley community gathered in Edward Medina Gym at Espanola Valley High School Jan. 10 to attend a ceremony honoring the memory of Cameron Martinez, an Espanola High School graduate and basketball player who was tragically killed in a drive-by shooting. The ceremony was held before the opening home game of the boys basketball team.
Cameron Martinez’s Memory Honored Before Opening Game
It was an event that had the whole Espanola Valley community shaken. Cameron Martinez, a 2018 Espanola Valley High School graduate and member of the boys basketball team, was killed in a drive-by shooting Oct. 4 in front of Ohkay Owingeh Casino. As the details of the shooting were released, how it was a case of mistaken identity, added to the senselessness of how such a bright young life could be taken so abruptly.
The healing process is slow and still painful. Known for his hustle and intensity, Martinez always gave his best when inserted into a game. His basketball career ended on the floor of the Pit in Albuquerque with him playing his heart out trying to rally the Sundevils to victory in the Class 5A state championship game. The rest of his life lay in front of him and it held promise of a bright future that was ended all too soon.
The community has rallied around and supported his parents, Urban and Valerie Martinez of Alcalde. A park was renamed in honor of Cameron.
The Espanola Valley community is known throughout New Mexico for supporting their beloved Sundevils basketball team that Cameron played for. Thousands of fans attend the Sundevils home games in Edward Medina Gym. Such was the case for Espanola’s first home game of the season Jan. 10 against Gallup High School. The thousands of fans were there to not just cheer for the Sundevils. They were there to witness a ceremony honoring the memory of Cameron Martinez.
New Mexico Goernor Michelle Lujan-Grisham spoke at the ceremony honoring Cameron Martinez. She read from an entry into the Congessional Record honoring Martinez she made Oct. 23 as a member of the House of Representatives.
Espanola Valley High Schoolbasketballplayers Ryan Trujillo (left) and Brian Martinez were teammates of Cameron Martinez and spoke at the ceremony honoring their fallen teammate. Cameron Martinez's jersey and Number 14 were retired at the ceremony. His jersey and the photo collage on the left will be hung in the lobby of Edward Medina Gym.
A potrait of Cameron Martinez was unveiled at the ceremony and it will look down upon the court that he loved to play on.
Espanola Valley middle school student Luke Archuleta spoke about Cameron Martinez and how he inspired and motivated him. Archuleta had proposed retiring Martinez's jersey and number to the Espanola Public School Board.
Urbam Martinez, Cameron Martinez’s father, spoke to the crowd at the ceremony honoring his son.