This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

High school teammates Josh Martin and Zach LaVine reunited in Minnesota

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: July 14, 2014 - 11:44 AM

Two days before the NBA draft, University of Minnesota incoming freshman Josh Martin texted his old high school pal, Zach LaVine, with a prediction:

'I think you're going to go to Minnesota!' he wrote.

LaVine laughed, telling Martin he'd love that coincidence.

But Martin, a 6-8 forward expected to compete for the Gophers' starting power forward spot, proved to be prophetic. A couple of days later, the Timberwolves selected LaVine with their 13th overall pick, reuniting the Washington state natives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

"I said 'Man, that'd be crazy,'" LaVine said. "I guess you could say he called it."

LaVine -- who played with Martin for one season at Bothell High School, and ran the court with him for three summers on their AAU team -- hasn't hung out with his friend since landing in the Twin Cities, opting to let the freshman settle in first.

But soon, he said with a mischievous grin, the pair will be back to their old games.

Back in Bothell, a small suburb Northeast of Seattle and Lake Washington, LaVine and Martin would hang out at each other's houses or the mall from time to time, and get food together. The best bet to find them, though, would be in the gym, where the two hyper athletes would shoot together, play one-on-one or stage impromptu dunk contests.

Who would win?

"See, he's going to say him, but he's never beat me," LaVine said. "He's going to definitely have to bring something out of his bag of tricks to beat me."

LaVine hopes to keep up the tradition, perhaps rotating the setting. The Wolves guard wants to check out the university campus -- and drag teammates Glenn Robinson III and Shabazz Muhammad over to Williams Arena once games begin -- as well as bring Martin over to Target Center for the pro experience.

"We're going to keep it going," LaVine said. "Don't underestimate him. He'll get me one day, I know that."

LaVine said the only advice he's given Martin about the collegiate experience is to make sure he gets extra work in, and stays focused. Having witnessed his pal's routine for half a decade, LaVine knows those goals won't be a problem.

Martin, he said, is as serious about the game as they come -- his personality, though, is anything but.

"[He's] someone that's really goofy and outgoing and is definitely going to be an energizer bunny on the court," LaVine said, describing Martin. "An exciting player, and someone whose always going to be happy. He always had a smile on his face."


*Media is unable to speak with Minnesota's incoming freshmen over the summer, per team rules.

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