Monday, January 25, 2021

After almost 2 years, Josh Langford is ready to play with the Spartans again

November 25, 2020
<p>Junior guard Joshua Langford (1) shouts to other players during the game against Northwestern University on Jan. 2, 2019, at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wildcats, 81-55. Langford is out with an injury to his left ankle.</p>

Junior guard Joshua Langford (1) shouts to other players during the game against Northwestern University on Jan. 2, 2019, at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wildcats, 81-55. Langford is out with an injury to his left ankle.

Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

When Joshua Langford came to MSU, he admitted to reporters Monday he didn’t think he would be in college this long. 

“It’s been new to me because, if I’m being really honest, I didn’t expect to be in college for five years,” Langford said. “It’s definitely been an adjustment but it’s been exciting because I can kind of pour into those guys (younger teammates) and show them certain things that I didn’t get early on.”

The MSU men’s basketball guard hasn’t seen the court in a game day setting in just about two years. A stress reaction to his left foot that originally sat him in the 2018-19 season left him watching the Spartans from the bench for the entirety of last season too. But after two years of rehabilitation and recovery, Langford says he is finally ready to play.  

“Just to be back on the court, I know it’s going to be special because I know it’s not going to be about me but it’s about the people who were around me and helping me get back on the court and so I’m just excited and thankful,” Langford said, referencing the teammates, coaches and trainers who all played a role in his recovery process. “... I’m just thankful that the Lord has allowed me to come back. He’s put great people around me to get me back.” 

In the 13 games Langford saw prior to his injury in the Spartans' game against Northern Illinois on Dec. 29, 2018, he made 29 three-pointers that marked him a pivotal contributor to the Spartans' offensive production.

Defensively, he was named co-recipient of MSU’s Best Defensive Player award in his sophomore season.

Langford was expected to be back last season until the reinjury to his foot put yet another question mark on his status.

He was officially ruled out of the 2019-20 season on Dec. 19, 2019.

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But this year is different in every way possible.

The last time Langford saw the court he was playing alongside Spartans basketball staples like Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, Matt McQuaid and Kenny Goins. With these players now graduated, Langford is the only member of the 2016-17 team left on the roster.

“I’ve just been trying to give them wisdom to do certain things and just be coachable and listen,” Langford said of his interactions with his teammates this season.

And aside from the roster, Langford will be playing through uncertainty. It’ll be a different team in one of the quietest Breslin Centers anyone has ever seen with no fans in attendance.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like," Langford said. "I haven’t played in two years and then with how everything is going to be different in terms of no fans and stuff like that, it's definitely going to be different for me. I haven’t played in the atmosphere like this as well, so I think it’s going to be a lot of different emotions.” 

This morning, hours before he'll reunite with the Breslin's hardwood on game day, Langford posted on Instagram his thoughts for the entire college basketball community as a long-awaited season restarts for many tonight.

Langford said he plans on playing with little to no limitations against Eastern Michigan.

“I’m just out there playing, and I’m going to see what’s what and embrace the moment,” he said.

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