Outstanding Basketball Player Headed To Motlow

Jaylen Barford

Jaylen Barford

There has been a lot of excitement generated around the Motlow Bucks’ basketball program since last season ended with a one-point, double-overtime loss in the semifinals of the Region VII Tournament.
From the moment rising sophomore Dequon Miller, an All-American last season and the top-rated junior college point guard in the country, announced he would return to Moore County for a second year, the possibilities for a special season increased substantially.
Head Coach Matt Sligh has done his part in surrounding Miller, and the half-dozen other returning sophomores, with a talented group of incoming freshmen. The potential of the freshman class recently spiked again with the announcement that Jaylen Barford will join the Motlow roster for the coming season.
Barford is a 6’3” dynamic guard from South Side High School in Jackson, Tenn. All he did was lead his Hawks team to the Class AA state championship last season while averaging 22.5 points and seven rebounds per game. He is ranked by most recruiting services among the top ten high school players in the state.
Barford is the latest proven winner that Sligh has added to the Bucks’ basketball family. In leading South Side to its championship last season, he scored the game-winning basket in the state semifinals to beat defending champion Christ Presbyterian Academy; a team that had won 94 consecutive games against in-state opponents and had beaten South Side for the state championship the previous season. South Side then beat East Nashville, and fellow Motlow signee Terry Holt, 91-83 in double overtime for the school’s first basketball state championship. Barford scored 25 points for the Hawks in the title game while Holt had 26 for East Nashville.
The Bucks will soon assemble as a team in Lynchburg with the fall semester scheduled to begin Aug. 25. Official practice traditionally begins for National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) basketball teams on Oct. 1, with the regular season opening the final week of October.