By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Chase Martin is a force on the hardwood for Jenks. Now his efforts are paying off as dozens of NCAA Division-I schools are taking a good look at him.
Back in September, a video clip was posted on Twitter of him with a backdrop of the logos of all schools who have either made an offer or have shown interest in him.
“It’s truly a blessing,” said Martin, a 6’5″, 190-pound junior shooting guard who is the son of Trojans head coach Clay Martin. “I thank God everyday that I’m in a position right now where I have options to have people come look at me. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
As of early October, he said Texas A&M, Liberty, Sam Houston State, Tulsa and Utah State are the ones that are recruiting him the hardest. Others include Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Missouri State, Oral Roberts and Belmont.
The younger Martin hopes to be making a decision next year as a senior.
“Right about this time next year,” he said.
Martin also has versatility, which will be a plus wherever he goes.
“I’ve played just about everything (position) because my dad wanted me to get that variety of experience,” he said.
Being the coach’s son has its perks, Martin said.
“It has its pros and cons for sure,” he said.
“The pros are he is always there with me. I get to see my dad every day. He pushes me every single day,” Martin said. “The cons, the student section may start yelling something or people will say ‘you’re only on the team because of your dad.’ But it is truly a blessing. I’m super thankful that he is my coach and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
One thing Martin, his father and coach, and his teammates are having to deal with as they prepare for the 2020-21 season is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been super fortunate that we’ve been able to be in the gym throughout the whole summer, but right now, we got to know that you can’t take a game for granted,” Martin said. “You got to know that any game could be canceled due to COVID or someone could get it. You must work hard every day and I feel like that is something that we as a team are really trying to focus on – competing every day.”
Jenks will open its regular season in December.
The Trojans reached the Class 6A state tournament last season. Unfortunately, due to COVID outbreak happening at the same time, all tournaments were postponed and ultimately canceled.
“It was a sucky feeling, knowing that your preparation and your work throughout the course of the whole year just had to come to an end like the way it did due to COVID, just an awful feeling,” Martin said. “The first thing in my mind was the seniors. They were a great group of guys who taught me so many life lessons. I hated for them that they didn’t get to play, they didn’t get a chance and we didn’t get a chance to go play for something that no other Jenks team had ever done.”
Getting away from the world is what Martin likes most about the game of basketball.
“It’s kind of like my meditation,” he said. “I can come up here and get some shots off and everything else just goes away. I love the competing aspect of it. I love competing, I feel like I’m truly competitive in anything I do, whether it’s basketball or life. It’s (basketball) been really good to me, so the only thing I feel like I can do is give back to it.”
The crossover dribble is Martin’s favorite move.
“I’m really good at getting my defender going one way, crossing over and either pulling up or getting to the rack,” Martin said. “I love when I get into traffic, I love to fade away, that is something I’ve really been working on this summer, is just being able to get that shot against a smaller or taller defender.”
Jenks lost eight seniors to graduation from last year’s state tournament team. Three were starters and as many as two who played minutes in every game. Despite the losses, Martin sees the team as reloading rather than rebuilding.
“We have a shot to go win another gold ball,” Martin said.
Along with Martin, there is sophomore Benjamin Averitt, who was a key factor in an overtime win against Broken Arrow last season, which got Jenks in the state tourney.
“Yes we’re young, but the skill makes up for that,” Martin said. “We got a lot of skillful guys who can put the ball through the hoop and execute plays, so I really feel like it’s going to help us.”