Sometimes in life you must create your own opportunity, even if it means taking a step back before taking two steps forward.
Jared Martin, in many ways, is the perfect case study.
As a skinny 6-foot-2 freshman at Arcadia he averaged a modest six points and just over five rebounds on a team that finished 18-0 but something wasn’t right, so Martin and his family decided it was time for a change.
Fast forward two years later and the now 6-foot-5, 185-pounder is arguably the best player at Saguaro as the Sabercats have opened the season 8-3.
Along the way the junior guard has dealt with one major hurdle, having to sit out his entire sophomore season after transferring to Saguaro per AIA transfer rules.
“Honestly, it was tough on him,” Saguaro head coach Bob La Rue said to Sports360AZ.com. “He transferred knowing it was 50-50 whether he was going to be able to play or not. It was hard on him as it would be for any sophomore.”
Been waiting long enough?? @JLieppert
— Jared Martin (@J_mar5) October 31, 2016
He spent his first year at Saguaro away from competitive basketball expanding his skill-set on the floor. The hard work has paid off through the first part of this season as Martin has recorded a triple-double and come close in several other games as the Sabercats’ second-leading scorer (around 20 points per game) and leading rebounder.
“I started to realize being an all-around player,” Martin explained to Sports360AZ.com after his 25-point effort in the Cats’ close win at Peoria Tuesday night. “Is what different colleges and a lot of people look at so I needed to step it up in all areas, not just scoring.”
Those different colleges have certainly taken notice of the rising prospect who patterns his game after Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker and could grow to be 6-foot-7 by the end of his prep career.
“He is getting more aggressive driving the ball and finishing at the rim,” one Division I coach told Sports360AZ.com of Martin. “His passing is still improving but he showed the ability to create for others…his progress has been really good. It’s easy to tell he is working on his game.”
— Alvin Gentry Elite (@AlvinGentryBB) December 14, 2016
Martin has interest from NAU, Cal, Marquette, San Diego State, University of San Diego, St. Mary’s College and Kansas State among others.
For now, he’s hoping to make Saguaro a major player in football and basketball.
“We’ve got a lot of really good pieces,” he said. “We’re just trying to put it together.”
Individually, it’s easy to see Jared Martin already has.