Shirley Martin was a true pioneer in women's sports in Wisconsin. The Rib Lake native moved to Milwaukee in 1943 because she wanted to play softball and basketball. She made her first trip to the AAU national basketball tournament in 1944.
Martin starred in basketball in the winter, sporting a sweeping hook shot, fastpitch softball in the summer and field hockey in the fall. Martin played sports into her 60s. She became the oldest person to play in a national AAU basketball tourney when she participated in the national tourney in Texas in 1985.
In addition to playing, Martin coached women's sports. She took a team of American female basketball players to the Soviet Union in 1958. In addition to induction to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Martin was a member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame, the AAU Hall of Fame and received the first lifetime achievement award from the Women's Sports Advocates of Wisconsin.