Each year, many players filter in and out of travel ball programs on a pretty regular basis. It’s widely become the new norm to see key pieces depart from their respective teams for the next best situation. However, Garner Road has always taken pride on being a program with the ability to keep most of their main pieces. While there will always be exceptions to the rule, the core within their 2023 roster offers substantial evidence to this notion. The entire roster is littered with talent, but this article will take a closer look at their returning core…

6’5 Jah Short (Farmville Central)

It would be extremely difficult to address the core of this team without their natural all-around leader, Jah Short. Though we wrote about him extensively last week, his looming breakout season is only becoming more obvious to everyone. Short possesses an incredible blend of IQ, size, skill, and athleticism, which allows him to regularly dominate the action on either end of the floor. However, the way Short moves is arguably one of the main separators between him and other high-level prospects. Every movement is purposeful and intentional, both with and without the ball in his hands. Short scores in a variety of different ways, runs the team with relative ease, and overwhelms opponents as a rugged defender and phenomenal rebounder. Expect to hear his name a lot over the coming months. 

6’2 Will Otto (Broughton)

Probably the most unassuming player on this team, Will Otto continues to stand out as one of the more underrated guards across North Carolina. Between his IQ, craftiness, and knockdown shooting, the appeal should be pretty clear. That being said, Otto is also quite tough physically and able to burden the offensive load for extended stretches. His smooth, steady, low-maintenance identity allows him to make an excellent impact with or without the ball in his hands. Otto is a useful defender and rebounder with terrific decision-making ability and offensive balance. He’s equally as strong at creating for himself as others, and displays sharp vision when attacking the basket. Already the clear leader of Broughton, Otto should warrant a ton of attention from college coaches throughout the next calendar year. 

6’4 Jordan Durham (Louisburg)

Although we’ve talked about his teammates’ pending breakout campaign, Jordan Durham also appears as likely to take a step forward as anyone in the state. He’s a long, fluid, skilled guard prospect with an incredibly smooth game and terrific physical attributes. Durham’s body continues to develop while his skillset has remained extremely efficient and translatable to the next level. He’s smart, crafty, and shoots the ball at a high percentage from the perimeter–but can also attack the basket and finish at a reliable rate. Durham creates for himself and others very well, and understands how to make a quality impact as an off-ball threat. He defends at a strong level, rebounds well for his position, and possesses no glaring weaknesses within his identity. Going forward, folks should expect Durham to start receiving more attention as one of the premier prospects in North Carolina’s Class of 2023. 

6’8 Joseph Bachman (Laney)

While each of the aforementioned trio has improved over the last year, arguably no prospect within the roster has developed as much as Joseph Bachman. He’s a big, sturdy post prospect with touch, footwork, and excellent hands. Although already extremely reliable and productive, Bachman has made clear strides within the last twelve months. Specifically, he seems tougher with more confidence and mobility—which has directly translated to his two-way production on the court. Bachman finishes with either hand, can go over either shoulder, and displays solid athleticism as a finisher, rebounder, and shot-altering presence. He also plays with a chip on his shoulder and utilizes his body well on both ends of the floor. Bachman is still progressing, but programs should gradually start prioritizing (and offering) the big man sooner than later.