First season with Flames helping Martin take game to next level

November 24, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Written by Will Sumner.

The past few months have been a whirlwind for Sydney Flames development player Caitlyn Martin.

From helping Norths win the NBL1 East championship to signing with the Flames to now being selected in the NSW under 20 side, it’s been an amazing few months for the Blue Mountains product.

The crazy period all started with the Bears and alongside current Flames assistant Renae Garlepp and fellow development player Carla Pitman – a squad that finished second at the 2023 NBL National titles.

“[NBL1] has been a massive part of where I’m at now,” said Martin.


“Renee [Garlepp] (head coach of Norths women’s NBL1 side) has really helped me improve my game this last season.

“I learned so much just from playing there and my game has improved heaps which has helped me get the development spot with the Flames”.

Martin had to balance her basketball and NBL1 workload with that of the gruelling HSC process this past year at Katoomba High School – a feat she attributes to her motivation.

“It was a lot, but I think having the right motivation was really important,” the 18-year-old said.

“My parents were big motivators for me, [they] helped me push and keep the balance.

“Just having the right people around you [is the most important thing]”.

With that now in the rear vision mirror, Martin is now focusing on her debut season with the Flames in the WNBL.

As a development player, she knows she doesn’t feature much on gameday but participates in all of their training on the court and in the weight room, as well as benefiting from the elite coaching and recovery. 

“We [the development players] warm up with the team, we go through all the drills with them,” said Martin, who is excited to feature in the NSW under 20s team as they attempt to go back-to-back under Tom Garlepp.

“When it comes to playing, we’re not in as much – we’re on the sidelines, there when they need us.

“We try to get in as much as we can, and Guy [Molloy] really pushes us to do that as well”.

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With a stacked Flames’ squad featuring the likes of WNBA champion Cayla George, former New York Liberty player Didi Richards and current Australian Opals captain Tess Madgen, Martin is playing alongside the same people she looked up to as a junior. 

“I definitely looked up to Loz Nicholson, Tess Magden and Tiana Mangakahia, and it’s so surreal getting to play beside them,” she said.

“It’s amazing and I’m learning so much”.

The Flames next hit the hardwood on Saturday when they travel to Bendigo – with the round four fixture with the Spirit tipping off at 6.30pm AEDT and can be viewed on 9Now.