DAMIAN Martin admits that when injury keeps him off the court, it gets him down.
But the captain who has led the Perth Wildcats to two national championships says he quickly puts life into perspective and realises it is simply a setback.
When the Western Suburbs Weekly sat down with Martin last week, he’d just had stitches removed from his lower gum following the last surgery he had to endure after receiving a broken jaw and losing teeth in a horrific clash on court last season.
The 31-year-old will be crowned Momentum Most Inspiring Man of the Year at the Men in Black Ball next month.
It is a title that does not sit comfortably for Martin, who admits he can think of more deserving people.
“But it’s really nice and humbling,” he said.
The Men in Black Ball raises money and awareness for men’s mental health.
“I think everybody has been through periods in their life where they’ve battled depression or anxiety and there’s been a situation where a friend of mine had suicidal thoughts… life gets put into perspective when a friend is thinking like that,” Martin said.
“I just lent an ear and listened and I’m in a fortunate situation where my friend is still alive but I know of people who have had friends commit suicide and they always think ‘what more could I have done?’.”
Martin, who is expecting his first child with wife Brittany in September, said mental health did not discriminate.
“With men’s mental health, society has to realise it’s a problem… we’re starting to catch up,” he said.
Martin is expected to sign on with the Perth Wildcats for the next three seasons this week and will vie for Olympic selection in July.
He continues to train in the off-season in between supporting organisations including Camp Quality, A Stitch in Time that raises money for Youth Focus, Foodbank WA, Global Roaming Pilbara Foundation supporting at-risk youth and the Rotary Club of Hillarys.