Julia Martinez commits to St. Louis University: One of the best guards in the state, junior Julia Martinez ended her recruitment Tuesday by choosing to continue to her basketball career at St. Louis University.

“It was a perfect fit for me as a student and as an athlete,” she said. “If I stepped away from basketball, I know it will still be a good place for me because it allows me to continue a Jesuit education.”

Martinez said St. Louis head coach Lisa Stone told her she will have a chance to compete for playing time as a freshman.

“[Stone] said I was one of the main players she was recruiting,” Martinez said. “She likes the type of player I am and won’t try to change me. But I know I have to work hard and prove myself.”

The Billikens, who play in the Atlantic 10 conference, finished 17-16 this season and qualified for the Women’s NIT for the third consecutive season. They went 25-9 in 2016-17 and 26-8 in 2015-16.

“I believe she can go there and play meaningful minutes right away, which is exciting for her,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said.

Martinez said her decision didn’t have a timetable, but she admitted she hoped to make one before her senior season.

“It’s nice to whole the recruiting process over because I can focus on us having another successful season at Loyola,” she said.

As a junior, Martinez averaged 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.7 steals for the Class 4A regional champion Ramblers (25-6). She was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Class 3A/4A all-state first team. She’s the program’s all-time leader in assists.

Kevin Cunningham earns statewide honor: Senior guard Kevin Cunningham was selected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Class 3A/4A all-state third team after he helped the Ramblers finish 24-7 and capture a Class 4A regional championship.

Cunningham averaged 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and took 18 charges. He leaves the program 24th on the all-time points list with 684 and third in career 3-pointers with 163. Cunningham won two Class 4A regional titles in his two varsity seasons.

Cunningham, an all-Catholic League selection and MVP of the Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest, is committed to play basketball at St. Thomas.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola