BASKETBALL: Sanderson Reaches 1,000 Career Points - In His Sophomore Year


For a few of the greatest Michigan high school basketball players, reaching 1,000 career points is a capstone achievement. In fact, it was said Friday night that no player in the history of Saline boys’ basketball had ever done it.


Friday night, in the fourth quarter of Saline’s 81-48 win over Bedford, Jonathan Sanders drained a long three-pointer in front of two defenders to reach 29 points for the game and 1,000 for his career.

He reached this milestone as a sophomore.

“It’s awesome. It’s a great experience to share with my family and friends,” said Sanderson, one of Michigan's most highly recruited basketball players. “I’m happy.”

Sanderson, the son of Jon and Jennifer Sanderson, has been lighting it up since he set foot on the court as a freshman. As good as he was last year, he’s shown remarkable growth as a sophomore.

It starts with some genetics. His father played college basketball for Ohio State. His mother was a four-year starter for Mercer. Basketball is in his blood.

“It’s amazing to play with him,” said teammate Brad Leventhal. “He was born to play basketball.”

But it’s not just genes and natural ability.

Sanderson has a passion for the game, enabling him to work harder in practice and in games.

Sanderson sets the bar for effort at team practices. But he’s a maniac about the game in his free time, too. He’s constantly practicing his shooting - launching 2,500 shots a week.


He’s a student of the game who is obsessed with improvement. He wasn’t happy with his play in Saline’s loss at Huron. So he sat down and watched the game, studying Huron’s defense and devising ways to do more to beat the River Rats the next time they play.

His dad is a well-known strength coach at the University of Michigan. Sanderson takes his father’s training to heart. He sports a chiseled physique that allows him to jump higher and stay in the air almost impossibly long, and outwait even some of the best defenders as he launches his shots before landing back on the ground.

When it comes to game time - he plays with frenetic pace. The tighter the game, the harder he goes. He often plays all 32 minutes with defenses doing everything they can to stop him.

“I just think God’s given me a passion and love for the game that no one else has,” Sanderson said. “When someone works so hard and has a passion for a game, it’s tough to beat.”

Saline head coach Mike Marek often runs out of superlatives to describe Sanderson. But he wants Sanderson to get his credit. He’s careful to make sure Sanderson gets due credit after games because, he once said, “I don’t want anyone to take him for granted.”

“A lot of high school basketball players come in dreaming of 1,000 points. They spend four years chasing it. For him to do it in less than two years is unbelievable. It doesn’t happen often," Marek said.

Sanderson has an amazing repertoire of shots and can make the most difficult shots look easy. But coach Marek knows nothing about his game came easy.


“It’s a lot of work - a lot of it behind the scenes,” Marek said. “He works with a lot of dedication. This was earned. He’s worked on this his whole life. I’m just glad we get to showcase what a talent we have in Jonathan Sanderson.”

Saline and Sanderson host Huron Tuesday night with identical 11-2 records and the SEC Red title on the line. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

More News from Saline
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified