Framingham Bred Nate Martino has great plans for 2021- Exclusive Q&A
Nate Martino has done many great things in a short period of time. He played basketball as a teen and decided to teach, inspire and coach basketball to the next generation. We chopped it up about the "Team New England MW" and what he has planned for the next stage of his life.
Boston Culture: Where did you from/ grow up? How was that like?
Nate Martino: I was born In Framingham but moved to Southbridge mass when I was like 3-4 years old. Southbridge was where I thought I was going to be for the rest of my life.. I had to move back to Framingham due to a flood that wiped out my whole neighborhood in 2005. One of the most traumatizing experiences I have ever had! Growing up in Framingham was fun. I live on the south side so you know my neighborhood was lit. I had a lot of fun with the kids from my neighborhood! A lot of stuff went down on the south side but I managed to stick to my sports and mind my business. I played QB at Framingham High and played basketball there as well and those were some of the best times of my life.
Boston Culture: Talk to us about your AAU B-ball program "Team New England MW"
Nate Martino: I honestly never thought I would be coaching or at least coaching this young but due to the pandemic. I was promoting clubs in Boston for DripEvents (shoutout to my guy Alvin) before and it got taken away so fast ... I had nothing else to do and I was thinking of ways to have fun out here so I started a community basketball tournament that was actually fun and Manu stopped by to check it out and he had told me that he was running Free morning workouts for kids on the south side. He asked if I wanted to come to stop by and help and from there I fell in love with the game again. Coach put me on to this program ran by Isaiah Davis he was coaching at that took place at Lena Park in Dorchester called Team New England and we thought it was a good idea if we started a program out of Metrowest for the kids back home called Team New England Metrowest. We wanted to do something for the kids in our own community..Not that we weren’t happy but we just felt like we needed to give back to our community.
Boston Culture: What was the best advice you gave your kids?
Nate Martino: Do what you want to do in life and don’t let anyone else determine your future. Do what you love and love what you do. Sports may not be it for some kids and that’s okay just find something and stick with it. At the end of the day, we are more than athletes.
Boston Culture: Talk to us about the vision of your clothing line, DoubleYup.
Nate Martino: D2Y aka DoubleYup Is a brand that not only will have its own clothing line but will also be a versatile brand! We will also try to give back to the community as much as we can! We would like to help out in any way that we can! We will have our website up and running soon where you can purchase merchandise.
Boston Culture: Talks to us about your younger mentality.
Nate Martino: Younger Me never really believed in me and at some point in my life I had to figure out how to beat that mentality because the only thing stopping me from doing me was me. I was scared to take risks and scared to leave things/people behind but I realized it would benefit my future so I had to do it. I try to live right by God and do the right thing and I know I will receive blessings in return as long as I put the work in. I am now able to overcome any mental battle I have with myself that tries to hold me back from what I’m trying to achieve.
Boston Culture: Talk to us about the community project you're working on to raise funds to help build a basketball court.
Nate Martino: We are trying to build a court so we can start our program that offers SAT Prep courses and a tutoring program to help our student-athletes maintain their grades and they can also get some work in right after. I’m motivated by my old coach Manu Sharma. He’s been coaching for years and has helped out a lot of kids on and off the court. He’s sent a handful of kids D1 and turned them into Men! He never really got the recognition he deserves so I’m hoping this helps. Also because a lot of kids who have potential like to waste it because they want to be in the streets and they don’t have the right guidance. We know they can be more than athletes that’s why we want to push them to get an education. A lot of hidden gems in the Metrowest never got the recognition they should have gotten or some got the wrong type of recognition due to being in the streets. We want kids making the right choices that will benefit their futures.
Boston Culture: What can the community do to help execute your vision?
Nate Martino: I believe the community can come together and recognize that what we are trying to do here is for the kids. We all want to make this a better place for all of us and I feel like there’s been a divide in my community for a while and I want to break the cycle of that North/Southside divide. So if we just all came together, we could definitely make a change.
Boston Culture: Talk to us about your perspective on Mental Health in Mass. What are we doing wrong, good? What can we do to improve the overall health of the state?
Nate Martino: Mental health is something that is overlooked by a lot of people. I use to overlook it too until I went through some tough times in my life to the point where I almost took my own life. I always thought it wasn’t normal for males to express their feelings because we were always told to “Be A Man” or “Men don’t cry” and I’ve always kept a poker face so you could never tell if something was wrong unless it was obvious. That is why I try to shine a light on Mental health because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way or has gone through what I went through. We need to check on our youth and make sure they’re okay and let them know we are here for them, especially during this pandemic with the remote learning that I know is killing some of our youth mentally. We gotta let everyone know that it’s okay to express how they feel because talking/crying it out is the best remedy.
Boston Culture: Anything else we missed you want to shed light on?