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The City Journals

Corner Canyon teammates join 1,500 points club

Feb 21, 2019 11:44AM ● By Catherine Garrett

Corner Canyon’s Jaeden Vaifanua reached the 1,500 career points mark a few weeks into the season. (Photo courtesy Jaeden Vaifanua)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Corner Canyon All-State players Jaeden Vaifanua and Kemery Martin have both recently reached the 1,500-point milestone in their high school careers.

Vaifanua, a two-time Second Team All-State forward, achieved the impressive mark in the Chargers win over Highland Dec. 13 with a 21-point performance.

“It feels awesome to have passed it,” Vaifanua said. “I think Coach (Jeramy) Acker didn’t tell me that I was close to those numbers on purpose. It has been a goal of mine that is super cool to have achieved.”

Martin, a First Team All-State guard, scored a career high — and school record — 47 points in the team’s win over Brighton Jan. 31 to also eclipse 1,500 points.

“I don’t really keep track of points so I didn’t really know I was close to that,” Martin said. “That’s a big number and it felt good to hit it. It was even more fun to share this with Jaeden this year.”

Vaifanua, who has been out with a sprained foot, was cheering Martin on from the bench to join her in reaching the milestone. “I knew Kemery was close and I was just trying to help her any way I could,” Vaifanua said.

“Both Jaeden and Kemery have meant a great deal to our program and the Charger family motto we are continually emphasizing each and every year,” head coach Jeramy Acker said. “They have taken on significant leadership roles throughout their time in the program as student-athletes on and off the court. I couldn’t be prouder of the way they support their teammates, coaches, school and the community.”

Vaifanua, the daughter of Brian and Angie Vaifanua of Draper, is focusing on a return to the court as their 17-5 team prepares for a 5A state tournament run. She is also close to 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks for her high school career. This season, she leads the team in rebounds with an average of nine per game while she also puts in around 17 points a game. 

“Jaeden brings a ton of energy to our team, especially down low,” Martin said. “She’s just so consistent in games and willing to do whatever it takes to help anyone on and off the court.”

The senior will be taking her game to the University of Wyoming next season and has felt a “weight lifted” as she committed and signed early. “I feel like I’ve just been able play and let it go,” she said.

Vaifanua credits her family, particularly her dad, for their efforts in her playing career so far. “My dad has been a personal coach and trainer for me and all of my siblings,” she said. “He earned my scholarship just as much as me.” She also noted the large role Acker has had in her game throughout the past few years. “I’ve never had a coach like him,” she said. “He does so much behind the scenes. He would do anything for any of us and we all know that.”

Martin, the daughter of Jeramie Martin of Draper and Toni Martin of Sandy, has been leading the team in scoring this season with nearly 21 points a game, with a vision of helping the third-ranked team in the state get past the early rounds in the 5A state tournament to reach the title game this year. 

“There’s more to basketball than just points,” she said. “I try to involve everyone in the game on and off the court and keep us all on the same page.”

The senior committed to the University of Utah last summer and signed in the fall to play for the Utes next year. “It’s been pretty relaxing to know where I’m going after high school so I’ve just been trying to have fun and trust in our abilities,” she said. 

Martin said she is grateful for the constant assistance of her teammates and coaches. “Coach Acker has been a big support,” she said. “He’s been really aware of things and helped make personal goals for me.”

Acker shared his own thoughts on his two All-State players. “Jaeden and Kemery are two very special student-athletes,” he said. “I know both of them will continue to accomplish amazing things in the future which is why I am so grateful for everything they have done to build, support and establish lasting traditions of excellence within our program at such a young age.”