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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Las Vegas native Jordyn Martin was born to be a Lumberjack. His parents met at Northern Arizona where his father was a member of the football team. His aunt Keturah Mattox played basketball for the Lumberjacks from 1992-96 and his grandfather Homer Townsend was a principal at Flagstaff Junior High School.
"It is cool for them to come back and watch me play," said Martin. "They have a lot of connections in Flagstaff and my grandfather was a principal here so he knows a lot of people here. Flagstaff is a home away from home. I see them almost every week so it is nice."
So it was fate for Martin to play at NAU when Jack Murphy was hired to be the head coach at Northern Arizona. Murphy, a fellow Las Vegas native, found Martin playing for former Lumberjack player Jermone Riley at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas. Martin was the first player to commit to Murphy and his new program.
"It meant a lot to me that he trusted me to get it going," said Martin. "It is exciting to be part of a new chapter in NAU basketball."
Martin had helped his Palo Verde High School team to the Sunset Regional title game, averaging 11 points and nine rebounds as a senior. Following the season, he received the Fab 5 Most Valuable Player Award and was named second-team all-conference. He also played volleyball in high school, earning first-team all-conference honors.
Martin credits sophomore Gaellan Bewernick for helping him get off to a good start in his first season as he has come off the bench backing up Bewernick. He scored four points in his collegiate debut against Oregon. Then he was called on for a season-high 33 minutes against UNLV in his hometown when Bewernick was sidelined with an ankle injury.
"He has grown a lot," said Bewernick of his young teammate. "He is playing big right now. Every time he comes in, he plays hard no matter what. He is banging with guys and getting rebounds and shots."
Martin had his best game to date against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 5 when Bewernick picked up two early fouls and was on the bench for most of the game due to foul trouble. Martin played 32 minutes and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.
"He has improved his physical play," said Bewernick. "He is not the biggest guy compared to the players we have played already. But he is not afraid to get in there and hit somebody."
Martin was happy to have an impact in the game against the Lions.
"It felt really good," said Martin. "Gaellan is a really strong player and I knew I had to step up. He helped me a lot by giving me pointers along with the other seniors."
In eight games, Martin has scored in six games while averaging 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest. He is shooting 72 percent from the floor.
"It is going really well personally," said Martin. "I think we are coming together as a team. Individually I am coming into my own and finding out who I am as a player."
There is one thing we know for sure. Jordyn Martin is a Lumberjack.