Posted On: 03/27/18 10:18 PM
Sierra Canyon forward K.J. Martin knows exactly where and how he can expose any opponent he faces on the high school level.
“I know I have an athletic advantage over a lot of teams I play against, so I try to get the ball inside for easy buckets,” Martin told Prep Hoops So-Cal.
The physical and explosive 6-foot-6 junior is a dunking, rebounding and shot blocking machine, but what improved the most for him over the course of this season was his continuous motor and focus throughout games.
Martin averaged better than 18 points and nine rebounds per game in helping the Trailblazers to a 27-4 overall record, culminating Sierra Canyon earning its first CIF-State Open Division championship last Saturday over Sheldon of Sacramento.
“We kept getting more chemistry and coming together,” he said of how the Trailblazers finished the season out so strongly. “We realized that we lost some games because we weren’t moving the ball, and once we did that, we became unbeatable.”
One of the biggest keys for the Sierra Canyon’s surge in the state playoffs was its ability to close out quarters and games with huge scoring runs.
“We had consistent intensity toward the end of the season and kept it up for the whole game instead of starting low and ending high,” Martin said. “We started to close out quarters better, which helped us win close games.”
As far as individual performance goes, Martin said he’s satisfied with his interior finishing, shot blocking and rebounding, and is trying to work on something that he might not always show during live game action.
“I think I’m getting better as a passer,” he said. “A lot of teams will double team me when on the block, so I look to move the ball to open teammates.”
Martin, the son of former Cincinnati and NBA standout Kenyon Martin, currently holds scholarship offers from his father’s alma mater, the Bearcats, along with Georgetown and UC Santa Barbara.
If Martin continues his upward progress this summer playing for the Oakland Soldiers, he’ll certainly have plenty more offers to choose from.