Joshua Langford Returns After Two Seasons Missed Due To Injuries
East Lansing, Mich.- It’s been almost two years since Joshua Langford walked onto a basketball court, secured his shoes, tucked in his No. 1 jersey and saw action as a starting guard for the Michigan State Spartans.
After undergoing two surgeries on foot injuries, Langford, the former All-State player while attending Madison Academy, last played in a Spartans’ game on Dec. 29, 2018 against Northern Illinois. Playing in his 83rd game since arriving in East Lansing, Mich. in 2016, Langford knew something had gone awry. Pain had become worse as the first half of the game continued and it was determined at halftime Langford was at a point he could not continue.
Now nearly 24 months later, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound graduate senior has made his way back to a starting position as the 12th ranked three-time defending Big 10 Champions take to the 2020-2021 season.
“To think of two years ago when we thought basketball was done and where he is right now is just an incredible, incredible compliment to the doctors and to Josh,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo in a recent interview. “It’s been an incredible journey and he’s been really solid.”
A team co-captain, Langford was known as a shot maker, a team player, fierce competitor and a teammate all could depend on. His early years in basketball included being named the Alabama Class 3A Play of the Year five consecutive years beginning as an eighth grader. He was a McDonald’s All-American and led the Madison Academy Mustangs to three state championships while becoming the eighth highest scorer in Alabama high school history with over 3,000 points.
Langford will celebrate his 24th birthday on Jan. 15.
Langford is one of 11 Division I players selected to the Player Development Coalition by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). In addition to creating a vehicle for student-athletes to address issues, the Player Development Coalition will provide the NABC with information that can better the game of college basketball.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent Michigan State on the NABC Player Development Coalition,” said Langford upon learning of his selection. “It’s a great honor to be part of a group where we can discuss issues that face college basketball players while also exploring opportunities for student-athletes during our college experience and beyond.”
Basketball expert Dick Vitale named Langford among his pre-season players to keep an eye on for the upcoming season. Vitale named Langford the “All-Florence Nightingale” as the best player returning from an injury.
Most within the Spartans’ program feel if Langford is anywhere close in his production as he was prior to his injuries, the season should be one of huge success and even better for Langford who hits over 53-percent of his field goal attempts and 80-percent at the free throw line. When his 2018-2019 season was cut short he was averaging 15 points per game.
Langford worked enormous hours during the recent off-season and additional rehabilitation. His return is expected to be an extension to his dedicated desire to succeed as a senior and lead his team to dominance.
For the Spartans team and its fans, to see No. 1 walk out onto the playing surface will be a welcomed site that many thought would never happen, but not Langford. He somehow knew he would return and help his beloved Spartans to continued success.