SAN DIEGO — In San Diego High School’s athletic department hang two collections of photographs of former San Diego athletes. In one area are photos of those athletes who earned accolades like all-state and all-South Texas. Further down the hall hang photographs of athletes who went to play college athletics.

San Diego athletic director Bo Ochoa can remember talking to Marlena Martinez years ago. Young and ambitious, the multi-sport star vowed to one day have her photograph hanging in the company of both groups.

She was right. Easily one of San Diego’s most decorated basketball players in years, Martinez signed on to continue her basketball career in the junior college ranks at Coastal Bend College in Beeville. Martinez signed during a ceremony at San Diego High School Wednesday with her family and coaches by her side and in front of the school’s athletic program.

San Diego girls basketball coach Alex Tunchez said Martinez worked hard to reach this day.

“Marley just didn’t get a scholarship because she showed up and she was good at basketball,” Tunchez said. “She earned a scholarship by working hard and doing everything right. We see a lot of kids come through our program with aspirations of moving on and playing at the next level and they don’t. Not everybody makes it. That’s the reality of it, but she made it.

“She’s the product of doing everything right, putting in the extra time and doing everything that you’re asked to do and then some.”

Martinez was a four-year varsity player in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. She’s helped the San Diego basketball and softball programs to respectable playoff runs each season, but she decided earlier this year that she wanted to pursue a college basketball career after high school.

As a senior in 2018, Martinez had some impressive statistics. She averaged 19.5 points along with 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 5.6 steals a game.

Martinez was the District 30-3A MVP, a 2016-17 TGCA All-State selection and a 2017-18 All-Region Player and a First-Team All-South Texas selection.

Coastal Bend College head coach Nathan Purswell said he liked Martinez for the CBC program after seeing her play just one time in an early-season tournament in Beeville.

“I just had a really good feeling about her,” he said. “She did a lot of things on the court where maybe you don’t score or pass a lot — she does too — but she does the diving for loose balls, deflections, getting her hands on the ball, running to the bench, giving high-fives… things that you can’t replace and things that you need for your team to be successful.”