On Thursday, March 4, 1993, Grissom High Schools girls basketball team beat Woodlawn 51-46 at the Jacksonville State University gym in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament. Twenty-three years later, its still remembered as one of the most extraordinary games in the history of the tournament all because of a breathtaking performance by Tiffany Martin, the Lady Tigers dynamic senior point guard. Martin scored 36 of her teams 51 points, hitting 12 of 19 regular field goals, 2 of 2 from 3-point range and 6 of 8 free throws while yanking down 8 rebounds on that night to remember. Afterward, Grissom coach Phil Holladay exclaimed in a press conference, "Im just glad Tiffanys here tonight instead of the Ball." Holladay was referring to the 35th annual Alpha Kappa Alpha Debutante Ball, one of the highlights of Huntsvilles social calendar. Several reporters took the comment to mean that since Grissom would now be playing Carver-Montgomery on Friday night for the state championship, Martin would have to miss the AKA Debutante Ball, which was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday at the North Hall of the Von Braun Center, roughly two hours away. The reporters were wrong, as it turned out. They hadnt factored in the Martin familys dogged determination to somehow overcome the conundrum of coping with two major events taking place a hundred miles apart at practically the same time. The Grissom-Carver showdown tipped off at 6 oclock Friday evening at Jacksonvilles Pete Mathews Coliseum and didnt end until nearly 8, about the same time the Debutante Ball was starting back in Huntsville. Almost immediately after Grissom finished second in the state tournament for the second straight year by losing 48-42, Tiffanys father, Frank Martin, hustled his daughter outside to the parking lot, where they hopped into the family car and sped off toward Huntsville. Frank Martin didnt spare the horsepower. "He basically ignored the speed limit," Tiffany recalled. They drove straight home, Tiffany quickly showered and changed clothes, then they rushed off to the Von Braun Center, arriving in the North Hall about 11:30 p.m. Her mother, Brenda, met them at the door and Tiffany hurriedly changed into a white formal dress. "We walked in just in time for the midnight champagne breakfast and the picture taking," Tiffany said. "But we made it. Everybody cheered. I was officially a deb. " The day marked a hectic ending to a remarkable high school basketball career for Martin, who was a 4-year starter, a 2-time All-Stater and Alabamas 6A Player of the Year after averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds as a senior. She was also an accomplished All-State soccer player and an All-State YMCA swimmer. Heavily recruited by colleges across the country, she signed a full basketball scholarship with Georgia Tech, choosing the Yellow Jackets over Alabama and Michigan, and became a 4-year starter at point guard, graduating in 1997 as Techs all-time assist leader. How good was she? "Since Tiffanys been playing for us the past four years, were averaging 25 wins per season," said Coach Holladay shortly after the start of the 1992-93 season. "That says a lot right there. Shes not shy on the basketball court, and she looks even better playing against the boys in practice. They anticipate back-cuts and open areas better than some of the girls. The better the competition, the better she plays." Other than her coaches, Martin credits her late father and her mother as the most influential persons in her development as a player. "Their constant support and encouragement helped me strive to always do my best and give my all," she said. "My dad faithfully helped me take my game to the next level each year. I can remember watching my games on video with him and discussing the personal improvements I needed to make. Afterward, wed go outside in the driveway and practice, or hed take me to the gym. "My mom was the emotional support I needed as I struggled to reach each new level of the game. She gave me that positive reassurance and inspiration that helped me believe in myself. Throughout my high school career, my parents didnt miss a game. During my college career, they didnt miss a home game no matter the day or time. They were always in the stands in Atlanta to cheer me on. To have that constant support from my parents was such a blessing." Tiffany is now a 6th grade English teacher at Monrovia Middle School in Madison. She and her husband, Eric Cleaves, have a 6-year-old son, Isaiah.