the Baller’s Almanac: September 23, 2012

It's Cuonzo Martin's birthday, born in East Saint Louis, Illinois in 1971. After winning two State titles in high school, Martin chose to attend Purdue and play for head coach Gene Keady. The 6-6 forward was known for his defensive prowess and his 3-point shooting (he still hold the Boilermaker record for made threes in a game – 8,and made 45% for his career). Martin helped lead the Boilermakers to back-to-back Big Ten Titles, and an Elite Eight appearance.

Martin played briefly in the NBA and then in Italy. While in Italy he suffered from undiagnosed heath issues and requested to be sent back to the US. There, doctors discovered that he was suffering from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. After aggressive treatment, his cancer went into remission. He returned to Purdue to complete his degree – and began his next career when he was hired by Gene Keady as an assistant coach.

Over the next eight years he helped guide (coaching with fellow assistant Matt Painter) the Boilermakers to four NCAA Appearances.

He was then hired to turn around the Missouri State program. His team struggled in year one, won the CIT in year two, and won the Missouri Valley Conference in year three.

Tennessee hired Martin in March, 2011, and he is now entering his second season with the program.

Eric Montross – like Cuonzo Martin – turns 41 today. Montross is one of the most highly decorated high school players out of the Indianapolis area, winning a State title, playing in the McDonald's All-American game, and being named to the USA Today All-USA 1st Team.

Montross chose to play his college ball at North Carolina – despite the fact that his father and grandfather had both played for Michigan. At UNC Montross won an NCAA Title in 1993 and was named an All-American in both his junior and senior seasons.

Eric has also served on the UNC General Alumni Association board and the athletics department's Athletic Council. He and his wife also participate activly in philanthropy events, most notably with children's cancer.

Montross currently does color commentary on UNC broadcasts.

Other birthdays include: Matt Mazza 1923 (Michigan State), Pete Brennan 1936 (UNC), Charles Beasley 1945 (SMU), Ray Blume 1958 (Oregon State), J.J. Anderson 1960 (Bradley), Larry Krystowiak 1964 (Montana), Jim Farmer 1964 (Alabama), Randy Woods 1970 (La Salle), and Ricky Davis 1979 (Iowa)

Musician of the day: Bruce Springsteen, born on this day in 1949.