Southern Indiana Living

MAR-APR 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Mar/Apr 2018 • 21 after Tim and Sabrina Langford and their two daughters moved to Southern In- diana from Atlanta He played multiple sports until the seventh grade, and grins when he says he misses playing football. He stood about 6-foot-1 by the eighth grade, with both basketball skills and poise beyond his years. Early on, his laid-back nature could look like dawdling on the court, and his mom occasionally had to remind him to put some pep in his step. That seems like a long time ago. Langford today is constant motion, slash- ing to the basket, blocking shots, soaring for dunks, gliding around the three-point arc, and constantly picking himself up off the floor after geĴing knocked down (or tripped) by opposing defenses that tend to send two, three or even four players af- ter him wherever he goes. Whatever happens on the court, his deadpan expression rarely changes. You may glimpse a smile as he goes to the bench with the game in hand, and you can tell he's got more gears when things are on the line. But don't expect any "3 goggles" after he hits from deep, no chest- bumping at mid-court after a big play. A raised eyebrow, maybe, but never a raised voice. Off the court he enjoys being a kid — he's particularly fond of cereal, bread, gummies and video games ("Fortnite" is a current favorite). He's an honors student, answers "yes, sir" and "no, ma'am," and enjoys math but will probably pursue a communications degree in college, which is important to him regardless of where his basketball career takes him. Sabrina Langford said Romeo has always been a calm kid. "If you know me, I'm preĴy much the same way. I try not to get too raĴled — it wastes too much en- ergy, in my book. He's like any other kid. He played with his sisters. He got on their nerves, they got on his nerves, 'Mama, she's looking at me, she's touching me.' He's just a normal kid." He's also completely serious about basketball. His dad, often in charge of tak- ing him to individual strength and yoga sessions across the river, half expected his son to beg off a time or two after an espe- cially tiring day. Didn't happen. Just before the current school year began, Langford added a new twist to his look by dyeing his hair a light red. "My mom and my sisters told me my hair used to be a lighter color when I was a liĴle kid," he said, "and I told her she could try it on my hair. It came out like this, and I kept it." Part of a Team Langford is bucking the trend by playing for his hometown public high school. Of this year's crop of 24 McDon- ald's All-Americans, he's one of only five not coming through the prep school pipe- line that funnels kids to the top college programs. The Langfords strongly con- sidered that path as well, but ultimately were satisfied that he could drive his own improvement without relocating. New Albany coach Jim Shannon is grateful for that. In a state that's synonymous with high school basketball, Shannon, 57, is a classic Hoosier story. He grew up in Anderson, home to one of Indiana's fa- mously large high school gyms, where he played and was a volunteer assistant while in college at Ball State. He became a Pictured (left-hand page, clockwise from top left): Lang ford soars to block a shot in New Albany's win over Jasper. Lang ford often draws two, three or even four defenders. Senior guard Sean East (No. 5) has started for three years and brings steady leadership to complement his longtime friend Lang ford. ey played together on the Louisville Legends AAU team, and the East family moved to New Albany so they could play nigh-school ball together. Pictured this page: Lang ford patiently meets fans after every game, home or away. Here, he's photographed with Eli and Emma Barksdale, while their mother Katie (red sleeves) and grand- father David Barksdale (bottom left), aka Pop, look on.

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