South Albany High’s Jaden Guilford was honored Tuesday night for a career achievement.
The senior point guard was presented with a ceremonial basketball prior to Tuesday’s Mid-Willamette Conference opener. Last month against Redmond, Guilford joined Drew Henderson and Eric Fauth as the only players in program history to score 1,000 points.
“It’s very humbling just to be able to be in the same pool as those people,” Guilford said. “Just rewarding to see my hard work pay off with the help of my teammates and coaches.”
Following the pregame festivities, South (8-3, 1-0) cruised to a 77-60 victory over Woodburn. The Rebels resume MWC play Thursday night at Lebanon (1-10, 0-1).
A four-year varsity starter, Guilford is a three-time all-league selection (first-team in 2016, second-team in 2017 and honorable mention as a freshman). He helped the Rebels reach the 5A state quarterfinals last March for the first time in program history.
“If you had 1,000 of him, that would be great because of his work ethic,” South coach Justin Smith said. “He shows up every day and is ready to go. He’s not a vocal leader, but he leads in the way that he approaches each day.”
Added senior teammate Jake Costello: “It’s a pretty dang great achievement and it shows how great of a player he is.”
Entering the 2017-18 season, Guilford knew that he was among the top scorers in program history. The 1,000-point barrier wasn’t a primary focus, he said.
Guilford appreciated the warm ovation he received Tuesday night.
“It was kind of weird being in front of everyone and having them all clap for me, especially the other team,” Guilford said. “But it was really cool to see everyone present and have them there for me.”
Costello, who scored 28 points against Woodburn, could join the prestigious club Thursday.
The 6-3 wing is sitting on 990 career points.
“I try not to pay attention to that kind of stuff,” Costello said. “If it rolls around, it happens.”