Sports Spotlight: Farmville Central’s Daniels sees hard work pay off with improved play, state championship

Daniels voted Farmville Central Most Outstanding Player of State Final
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:07 PM EDT
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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Farmville Central boys basketball won the state 2A championship on Saturday beating Reidsville 75-63. Junior JD Daniels was one of the difference makers in the game and this season for the Jaguars. We feature him in our Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“Last year, I didn’t do nothing,” says Farmville Central JD Daniels, “I just had to work.”

After three straight state titles Farmville Central boys lost the state final in 2022.

“After we lost,” says Daniels, “I was like I got to do something.”

Losing the championship game could have been the best thing to happen to junior JD Daniels.

“I worked on everything,” says Daniels, “All offense, everything, by myself in the gym, every day.”

Daniels has had to work harder than most after the COVID year took away his freshman season.

“I ain’t even play. Everybody showed what they could do last year,” says Daniels, “This year I am just catching back up.”

His summer work, and summer ball play with his team, led to what became a 30 wins and one loss season.

“That’s when we got everything together,” says Daniels, “This summer we were undefeated. We knew what we can do, we go off what we can do.”

“Had a great summer and solidified his spot in the starting five,” says Farmville Central coach Larry Williford, “Has just flourished and continued to excel every game since then.”

Daniels averaged about 11 points and 3 rebounds this season.

“He can step out and shoot it from the three. He’s developed that as the season has gone on. He’s really good off the bounce. He’s tough, he’s tenacious,” says Williford, “He’s an excellent rebounder for his size. Mentally tough, which you know it’s very hard to find all those attributes in one guy.”

JD’s work, like shooting an extra 200 free throws every day in gym class, paid off in the biggest games.

“Getting scoring, getting the bucket,” says Daniels, “That’s all I wanted.”

He had 23 points in the regional championship win over Goldsboro.

“Everybody thought we only had one person,” says Daniels, “That’s what everybody thought. We won.”

Daniels was the Farmville Central Most Oustanding Player in the state final on Saturday with 14 points and nine rebounds. Redemption and a continued bright future for JD and the Jags.

“Man, it feels good,” says Daniels, “We won. We got it.”