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 • 24 There's also constant questions about where Langford will aĴend col- lege — he'll announce Indiana, Vander- bilt or Kansas sometime after the season — and whether he can break Damon Bai- ley's career scoring record. Langford was closing in on 3,000 points as the regular season wound down and Bailey's 3,134 total could be in jeopardy if New Albany makes a deep tournament run. Then there's that thing Shannon doesn't want to think about: what it will be like when Langford moves on. "I know everybody always says en- joy the journey, enjoy the moment. That's what we tell each other. I'm not sure we do that. All I do is get ready for the next one," he said. "I don't really want to think about (the journey coming to an end). I didn't want to think about it when my kids grad- uated from high school and left for col- lege. I didn't want to think about it when my son said he was going to Arizona for a job. I don't really like thinking about that stuff. But yeah, he's not going to be here much longer. We've still got a ways to go, but he's ready for the next chapter. It's time." As for Langford, he skipped prep school for one thing. His hometown school plays for state championships. "It's always that," he says. "The team is play- ing well. We just have to keep our mo- mentum going." • I 've been following New Albany closely this season in hopes of writ- ing a book after the season. My two- fold premise is simple: to chronicle the final year of Langford's high school career and the team's hopefully epic sea- son, and to honor how sports brings fami- lies together to create lasting memories. That certainly was the case for me and my father Robert "Mainie" Stemle. He started as a senior on the 1944 New Albany team that cracked the Top 10 be- fore losing to a powerhouse Jeffersonville team in the opening game of the sectional. For as long as I can recall, basket- ball was a frame of reference between us. When I was not quite 9, my father toted me to Freedom Hall in Louisville to watch UCLA and Lew Alcindor defeat Rick Mount and Purdue in the NCAA title game. (Dad's friend and well-connected fellow New Albany grad, Joe Dean, got him the tickets.) A few years later, dad took me to see the ABA's Kentucky Colonels — in- cluding pre-season games against NBA teams — after which I'd camp outside the locker rooms for autographs while he waited patiently. I got Alcindor's signature after he'd changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabber — it's either lost to history or buried in my parents' base- ment somewhere. But that indelible memory and many more are as present today as ever. And you can see this bonding play out around the New Albany team. Fa- thers, daughters, mothers and sons come to the games, and many of them stick around to meet Romeo after the game. With digital photography, it's much easier to build a permanent record of those encounters, ensuring they won't forget. They don't know how lucky they are — but they will. Pictured: Author Cary Stemle's Dad, Robert "Mainie" Stemle Making Memories

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