Josh Langford Homecoming
MADISON- There’s no emotional feeling like a homecoming. For Josh Langford, that feeling has led him to understand his returning to his alma mater of Madison Academy is a movement by God.
“I feel like this is a very big faith building experience for me as my relationship with God has grown with my move back to Madison Academy as the opportunity door open and God made this move happen,” said Langford.
Easily the most celebrated basketball player in the history of the private school, in May, Langford was recently announced as the new assistant coach of the boy’s basketball program with head coach Tom Berryman. Langford brings not only high school experiences to share, but college basketball experiences to assist the players in their way through their young lives.
A graduate of Madison Academy in 2016, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Langford was an unbelievable five-time Alabama Player of the Year, three-time State Champion, 3-time State Tournament MVP, 3,089 career points, which at the time was the eighth best in state history, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American. All of these accolades under former head coach Andy Blackston. He was one of the top recruited players in the country, but was an early commit to Michigan State where he went on to play for Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo and was named team Co-Captain.
Despite missing one half of the 2018-2019 season and all of the 2019-2020 season due to a severe foot injury, Langford finished among the school’s 1,000-point club averaging 10.1-points, three rebounds, and a 43.1-percent field goal shooting in 110 games for the Spartans. In his final season at the Lansing, Mich. school he scored 9.7-points a game as the team was 15-13 on the season. He was named the recipient of the team’s Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award for his relentless fight against injuries and the desire to play. Through high school and college, Langford had to endure going through six surgeries, all on his left side. Those included surgeries to his knee, foot and hand.
“I was hoping after my third surgery I was eventually going to play professionally, but I made the tough decision not to pursue that level of play after I left Michigan State,” said Langford, who has a degree in advertising management and religious studies and a master’s in education as he is currently teaching Bible along with his duties on the staff of the basketball program. “I had the decision to teach others as I feel that was my purpose in life, but I wasn’t able to make a living doing that as I needed money to help me fulfill my passion to teach. I needed to play basketball to make a living. I was once asked if I had the money would I still play basketball. I said no. I felt like I didn’t want to play just to play so I listened to what God was telling me and suddenly the position here at Madison Academy came open. I had a prompting in my heart to help others.”
“We are thrilled to add Josh to our coaching staff as he will immediately impact our program in all facets,” said Berryman. “He will be able to use what he has learned to help mentor our players about succeeding here, at the next level and beyond.”
“Coach Berryman is a great leader as he understands how to lead,” said Langford. “He’s open to me sharing my experiences and knowledge.”
Besides the ins and outs of basketball on the court, Langford will bring a perspective not many have the privilege to do on the level of high school basketball. He added, “It’s a luxury to have this knowledge of suffering through injuries, getting an education and play for one of the best coaches in college basketball. All of those experiences show me basketball allowed me to express not only who I am, but what I am. Off the court is more valuable to me and I have the understanding I can give to these young players and show them there is so much out there besides basketball.”
Earlier this summer Langford was married to his wife, Lauren, who is a Michigan State grad with degrees in human resources and Spanish. She is working as a substitute teacher at Madison Academy while pursuing a career as a Christian music artist. They made the trip to his home as a unified couple while both strive to fill their careers in what they truly believe in.
His connection to Madison Academy is one of richness and admiration and he wants the school to be the best it can be. Langford said he has a purpose in life and each person has their own unique journey in life. He’s happy. He’s content. He’s following his unique path God has given him.
Langford believes what one of his mentors said to him in the fact “it’s important to bloom where you are planted.” Today, he’s home at Madison Academy, planted and making a difference to the lives of many youths now and in the future.