Trevan Martin walked over to Santa Fe Christian teammate Chase Pagon during a break in the action at a recent practice in the Eagles’ gym.
Pagon — a senior — was nursing a knee injury with a large ice pack while his leg was propped up by a chair.
Martin approached Pagon and gave him a playful — albeit gentle — pat on his injured knee while the rest of his teammates inquired as to whether the forward would be back for their next game.
Most sophomores choose to be seen and not heard, speak when spoken to, following an unwritten code for underclassmen that has existed from virtual antiquity.
In fact, even last season as a freshman he contributed mightily to a squad that won its second straight San Diego Section Division I title.
“Trevan got major minutes last season on a championship team,” said Santa Fe Christian coach Chad Bickley, in his 13th season as Eagles bench boss. “It was all about opportunity. As the season wore on, his playing time kept getting extended. Not many kids get that chance.”
A year later, Martin is parlaying his experience into a fine second season. The 6-foot-31/2, 175-pound guard has embraced his increased role as the No. 6-ranked Eagles stand 16-6 overall and 4-2 in the tough Coastal League.
“Last year, I was more of an energy guy as the sixth man off the bench,” said Martin, who is averaging about 10 points and five rebounds a game. “My job was to guard the other team’s best player, as well as contribute offensively.”
During another break in drills, Martin practices a ghost jump shot, following through as though he were actually releasing a ball from his grasp instead of merely waiting for it to be inbounded.
Sure enough, on a trip down the floor moments later, he pulls up and launches a mid-range jumper that arcs through the air only to drop through the net without so much as even brushing the iron.
Martin’s shooting has improved from last season to this — something for which he credits his father, Troy.
“Many times, we would go to a gym and he would just pass me the ball,” said Martin. “I became obsessed with it — I always wanted to have a ball in my hands.”
All that hard work has paid off with both tangible and intangible results.
“I’ve really implemented my pull-up and mid-range shot this season,” said Martin. “Also, I’m seeing how the defense is guarding me.”
Martin also credits his club playing experience in helping make him the player he is today. He began with the Solana Beach Cats all the way back in fourth grade and continues to play for Oceanside’s Gamepoint when he’s not suiting up for Santa Fe Christian.
“Club ball really helped me get ready for high school,” he said. “Especially our summer team when we play all over the country.”
Indeed, Martin is certainly skilled beyond his years as a result, said Bickley.
“Trevan’s not afraid — he’s fearless,” he said. “With the toughness he develops against such intense competition with his club, he comes back to the high-school level and isn’t psyched out.”
Good thing for the Eagles since Bickley lost all five starters from last season’s squad and has only one player who had any varsity experience entering the current campaign — Martin.
“Bottom line is Trevan’s learned to be a scorer,” said Bickley. “Not to mention the taller he gets, everyone who watches him as far as college scouts are concerned will see the progression he’s already made and continues to make.”
Sophomore slump, indeed.
San Diego Section championships won by the Santa Fe Christian boys basketball program:
2001: Division V
2003: Division V
2004: Division V
2006: Division V
2017: Division I
2018: Division I
by Scott Akanewich