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‘Forgotten Net’ Jeremiah Martin surprising in camp

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Jeremiah Martin played 16 minutes this season for the Nets as a two-way player. Signed by the Nets to a two-year two-way deal in January, the 23-year-old Martin was called up from the Sioux Falls SkyForce, the Heat affiliate, then assigned to the Long Island Nets.

The Heat, of course, have a sterling record (as do the Nets) of finding diamonds in the rough among the undrafted. One of the last cuts in training camp, Martin, a 6’2” combo guard, averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 assists at Sioux Falls, then averaged similar numbers for Long Island, 17.7 points and 4.0 assists while improving his 3-point shooting from 28.2 percent to 32.7. More than a respectable showing for the Memphis product.

Here’s some highlights...

Put those numbers —and his minuscule averages with Brooklyn aside. He’s now been thrust into the NBA’s “bubble” in Orlando and only too happy to be counted on. Both Jacque Vaughn and Caris LeVert have previously said he’s been a surprise in camp.

“It’s a great opportunity, something I’ve been waiting on and working for all my life,” Martin said on Sunday night’s Zoom call with Nets media. “I’m doing something I always wanted to do. … I’m going to play against some great players and great teams. It’s such a great opportunity. I can’t look back.”

And he has company. He spoke about how he and Chris Chiozza, who grew up in Memphis but played for Florida, have been best buds since the shutdown and go way back in the Bluff City.

They played for the same AAU team a year apart. Martin said they’ve been together almost every day in the “bubble” and before that on Long Island as the Nets two two-ways. Chiozza of course got burn at the end of the truncated season. Now with the Nets down several players (don’t ask how many!), Martin will that opportunity.

“If I wasn’t here, I would be wanting to be here,” Martin said. “I got the opportunity to be a part of it, so I’m going to take full advantage of it...

“I’ve just been all ears,” he said, “My teammates always come up to tell me the good and the bad things that I need to work on.”

So far, so good. Vaughn has said Martin has been a “surprise,” has been fearless attacking the basket.

“I’d say Jeremiah Martin has been a surprise for us. His ability to compete,” Vaughn said last week “That’s all we ask at this beginning stage is to compete. Whether that’s knowing the plays, knowing different implementations, or having yourself ready every day. I give him a pat on the back as well.”

On Sunday, JV said he likes how inquisitive Martin is.

Martin does admit that he misses his young daughter, Journee, and hopes she’ll understand why Daddy can’t be home.

“The ultimate goal is to play basketball, do my job and be able to take care of her,” he said.

LeVert retweeted a team tweet quoting Martin with a message for fans....

Should he work out in the “bubble,” Nets will retain his G League rights next season and he’ll be a restricted agent for Brooklyn come October.

Justin Anderson, the third member of the Long Island Nets on the revised Brooklyn roster, is still in quarantine (as is Donta Hall who played for the G League affiliate of the Pistons.) The 6’6” Anderson’s transition shouldn’t be difficult, Vaughn said, noting that Long Island and Brooklyn run the same system and of course, he spent 10 days with the big club. (Not to mention he’s said he’s been talking to UVA teammate and friend, Joe Harris, about what’s been going on in practice.

“He’s going to give us some versatility,” Vaughn said. “The ability to shoot the basketball, the ability to guard multiple positions, he’s definitely a welcome addition and hopefully we’ll see him next team practice.”

Vaughn wasn’t showing his hand on who will be playing for the Nets come Wednesday when they open a three-game scrimmage schedule with the Pelicans but indicated he’ll be conservative playing the new players in the 40-minute games.