Guard Jaden Vollmen just finished up a strong and historical season for the Puyallup High boys basketball team after breaking the program’s 25-year-old assists record.
At the beginning of his junior season, Vollmen said he wanted to take down both of the school’s single-season and career assist marks, both set in 1990 by then-senior and current Rogers High boys coach Rico Ancheta.
“I just like playing with guys that I have been playing with awhile. I know where they like their passes and all those kind of (little) things,” Vollmen said.
Both goals have been accomplished as Vollmen’s current career mark stands at 473 assists and counting. The senior broke Acheta’s old record of 381 career assists earlier this season.
“He’s a talented player who really understands how to facilitate the ball to his teammates,” Ancheta said. “He’s like a second coach out there on the court.”
Vollmen set the single-season mark last season when he recorded 206 assists, eclipsing Ancheta’s previous record of 169.
Now, with both goals accomplished, Vollmen, who also averages 10 points per game, and his Puyallup teammates can focus squarely on the playoffs with goals of getting out of district play.
“This is probably the best chemistry in the three years that I’ve played here,” Vollmen said. “There’s a good energy and effort each game — you can win a lot of games with good energy.”
As Vollmen went about his historical season, longtime teammate and friend Devin Neff was often the beneficiary of the senior point guard’s passes.
Time and again Vollmen would find his team’s leading scorer on the wing, giving Neff the best chance to knock down the jumper. It has been a good combo; Neff sits atop the 4A South Puget Sound League in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game.
“Jaden is one of my closest friends, and he knows where to pass it to me on the court,” Neff said. “He’s someone who has a strong understanding of the game.”
Neff was third in the area in scoring heading into the final week of the season (Jan. 25-29).
“It feels good to be able to help the team out consistently this year,” Neff said. “I think it’s (also) because of the other guys on the team distracting people away from me … We have 10 other guys who can score.”
“Devin has progressed every season with his scoring,” Puyallup coach Scott Campbell said. “Last year he averaged 14 points, so this year is just his progression as a player within our system.”