Hall of Fame career

Christi Martin and her mother, Marie McCollum, celebrate Martin’s induction into the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame. Martin starred in basketball and track for the Boaz Lady Pirates. She played college basketball at Montevallo and Kennesaw State.

The Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame inducted Boaz Lady Pirate legend Christi Martin in its class of 2019 during a June 1 banquet at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge.

The MCSHOF’s class of 2019 features eight members. Visit the hall of fame’s YouTube channel at MarshallCountySports HOF to watch the induction videos and acceptance speeches for Martin and her classmates.

Martin’s biography as it appears on her MCSHOF plaque is:

Christi Maureen Martin was born on January 9, 1975, in Guntersville, Alabama, to Chris and Marie Martin of Boaz. In 1980, Marie married Mike McCollum. Christi has two siblings: a sister, Robin Limbaugh, and a brother, Michael McCollum. Both Christi’s dad and stepdad have passed away.

Marie was a longtime elementary teacher in Boaz, so Christi grew up in Boaz schools. She played youth sports through the Boaz Recreation Department. She also played in the Saturday Morning Basketball League created by Boaz head girls’ basketball coach Gerald Thomas, a 2005 Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

Christi played on the Boaz Junior High girls’ basketball team in 7th and 8th grade. Her two years on the junior high squad were very successful, as the Lady Pirates went 41-1 and winning the Marshall County Championship in 1988. The only loss in the two years was in the Marshall County Tournament finals a year later to an Asbury squad, which was a feeder school for Boaz High School at that time. Coach Thomas moved Christi up to the varsity team after her 8th grade season finished that year.

The Boaz Lady Pirates enjoyed immense success during Christi’s high school years, and she was a big part of it. Boaz won four straight area championships, and in her junior season, they captured the first Marshall County Tournament championship in school history. Her senior year, they repeated that feat. In 1992-93, the Lady Pirates made it to the state tournament for only the second time in school history where they lost in the quarterfinals to eventual state champion Wenonah. In her four years on the varsity, Boaz had an overall record of 106-22, including a school record for wins at that time with a record of 28-4 in 1992-93.

Christi built a terrific individual résumé as well. She scored 1,556 points in her career. She was named to the Class 5A, Area 13 All-Area Team four straight years and was named Most Valuable Player in 1992. She was also a member of the All-Marshall County Team for three years. She was named MVP in 1992 and co-MVP in 1993. Additionally, Christi was named to the Alabama Sports Writers/Birmingham News All-State Team in both 1992 and 1993, and was Academic All-State in 1992.

Christi also excelled in track and field at B.H.S. She was a three-time All-Marshall County and All-Sectional performer in track where she competed in numerous events. During her junior season, she finished 5th in the 400 meters at the A.H.S.A.A. State Track Meet. The Boaz girls were Marshall County track champions in 1991.

After graduating from Boaz High in 1993, Christi signed a basketball scholarship with the University of Montevallo. Her freshman season, the Lady Falcons went all the way to the NAIA Final Four. They finished with a 28-7 record, and Christi was an integral part of the team, finishing second on the team with 2.4 assists per game. The following year, Coach Gary Van Atta’s Lady Falcons went 22-10 and advanced to the NAIA Elite Eight. In 1995-96, Christi’s junior year, the team had a sparkling 25-4 record and were named Gulf South Conference Champions. They made an NAIA Sweet Sixteen appearance.

After her junior year was over, Coach Van Atta left Montevallo for the University of Tennessee-Martin. Christi decided to join her former Boaz teammate Mandy Thomas, a 2018 Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame inductee, at Kennesaw State University to play for Coach Colby Tilley. During her senior year, Christi’s team finished 30-2, won the Peach Belt Tournament, the South Atlantic Regional, and qualified for the NCAA Elite Eight in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Lady Owls eventually lost to Bentley in the quarterfinals. Christi led the team with 3.1 assists per game.

In May 1998, she received her B.A. degree in exercise science from Kennesaw State. Christi then took a job as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. After a year there, she moved to Atlanta and took the same job at Emory University. She continued to move up in the college ranks and took an assistant’s job at the University of Central Florida. After three years as a college assistant, Christi decided she wanted to come back home. She got her Master’s degree in physical education from U.A.B. in 2004.

She served stints as the head girls’ basketball coach at Chelsea High School, Spain Park High School, Broken Arrow High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Riverfield Country Day School in Tulsa. In 2012, Christi returned to the Birmingham metro area to teach and coach at Homewood Middle School. Her Homewood 8th grade team won the Metro South Conference Championship in 2013 and 2017, and her 7th grade volleyball team won the conference title in 2015. She has been named Metro South Conference Coach of the Year twice.

In 2018, Christi’s 1993-94 Montevallo women’s team was inducted into the University’s Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She is an active parishioner at St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Church in Birmingham. She continues to coach and teach at Homewood Middle School.

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