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Home » After Nearly Two Years Sidelined By Injuries, Michigan State’s Joshua Langford Feels ‘Great’ About Looming Return

After Nearly Two Years Sidelined By Injuries, Michigan State’s Joshua Langford Feels ‘Great’ About Looming Return

Joshua Langford last played in a basketball game for Michigan State on Dec. 29, 2018.

Before this fall, the 6-foot-5 redshirt senior shooting guard hadn’t practiced for the Spartans in a year and a half because of foot issues. He underwent two surgeries.

Now with the 2020-21 college basketball season set to begin Nov. 25, Langford is optimistic about getting back on the court and contributing.

“Oh man, it’s a lot of emotions but I think the first thing is that I’m very, very grateful just to have the opportunity to play this game that I’ve been gifted with by God,” Langford said Monday evening in a Zoom call. “Just to be back out there with my teammates, obviously it’s a process that I have to get adjusted to because I haven’t played in such a long time but I’m just thankful that I can get tired again on the court.”

Before his injury, Langford averaged 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting 44.3 percent from the floor (70-of-158) and 40.3 percent from 3-point land (29-of-72). He missed the remainder of the 2018-19 season and then all of last year.

Now he’s trying to get his timing back on the court. He has shown glimpses of his old self, with video of him dunking off his left foot recently surfacing.

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“I feel great,” he said. “I think right now for me it’s about getting back into that process of playing, allowing my mind to catch up with my body. My skill is there but there are still some things that I have to get used to doing, just getting caught up with the pace of the game.”

Langford credited the coaching staff with “helping me to be wise about the type of reps that I’m getting in practice and allowing me to just really take it slow but at the same time be aggressive with it.”

Langford was named a Michigan State tri-captain along with Foster Loyer and Aaron Henry. Other than Langford, only six other Michigan State players have been captains for three years.

“Josh Langford is one of the most disciplined players we’ve ever had here, and it’s a testament to him that he is a captain for his third-straight year,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “It’s a special type of person to command that respect from his team, and Josh has earned that.”

As for his relationships with his teammates, Langford says even though he hasn’t played in nearly two calendar years, he’s been around the team and traveling, “so we still have that chemistry off the court which helps it not be as bad on the court. It makes it easier to adjust to because we have off-the-court chemistry.”

As for contributing once games start, Langford said he has to continue to trust his timing.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is just trusting the process, and realizing that everybody has their own journey and how you own that journey determines how you are successful in the thing that you’re doing,” he said.

“For me, I’ve been really learning the importance of trusting the process and having patience with it because sometimes there are certain things that I do on the court, and I’m like, ‘Man, I could do that two years ago.’ Now I have to remind myself, ‘Josh, you haven’t played in two years. All of those things are going to come for me in timing, so I think the biggest life lesson that I can take outside of basketball is that everything takes time. Everything is beautiful in its own time and you just have to trust the process.”

Source: Forbes – Business

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