What should be remembered about romeo langford and His Impact on indiana basketball
Written By: Ben Malcomson (@malcomsonben)
If you had to take a poll of 50,000 Hoosier basketball fans, I would bet you there would be more than a handful that would tell you that there is absolutely nothing to remember about Romeo Langford and his time donning the cream and crimson. Probably enough to fill Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall two times over, at least.
For me personally, I would have to say that I feel quite differently about Langford’s time as a Hoosier. Is it a normal sports fan’s mentality to be quick to forget the moments that made an individual’s impact on a program so special?
I am sure there is at least one, two, or ten people out there that would tell me they would be quick to remind me that we did not make the NCAA tournament and we especially did not hang another banner. Plenty to forget about, right?
Plenty to remember from the 2018-19 campaign. But, to truly appreciate the journey, you must wrap the entire season together with the off season leading up to it. And, it all begins with Romeo Langford. Factoring in the hype surrounding him, he was one of the most coveted freshman coming out of high school within the state of Indiana in a very long time.
I heard the stories about how this young man was on another level. I never doubted those claims. But, I did want to see it for myself.
During Romeo’s senior season, I made the trip to New Albany, IN to catch their showdown against Evansville North. And boy, I was not disappointed. Langford not only looked like a grown ass man among boys, it was like he could see the defenders next 3 moves and he capitalized on them each and every time in rout to the victory. I knew from the moment on that we were witnessing something truly special.
The post game was even more entertaining as Hoosier fans young and old flocked to the kid to get a piece of the moment whether it was an autograph or a photo. It was a beautiful thing really. Even more so, the look on Romeo’s face. He was down-to-earth and seemed very in tune for each fan. I found this interesting considering he had done the autograph sessions post game over and over and over again. Time and time and time again. Yet, this kid had the look of knowing what the fans were feeling in that moment when getting to spend a few short minutes with someone that they idolized. Romeo knew it and made the choice to make that something truly memorable.
Decision day arrives.. All I could remember was thinking how I am about to witness a dream come true. It was Vanderbilt, Kansas, and your Indiana Hoosiers. Where would the talented athlete decide to go? In the end, with thousands watching and many more at the gymnasium watching on, Langford gave a little hesitation with the cap and picked up the IU clad hat as the crowd roared in excitement:
“The day has come!”
“The Hoosiers have their savior!”
“A national championship is now within our grasp!”
That is what I thought many Hoosier fans were thinking.
Personally, I was slumped back in my chair watching the stream and all I could utter was..”(exhale)…. Wow!”
That summed up my emotions. A rollercoaster ride it was. I think many IU fans would agree.
Isn’t that what makes it special?
When you allow yourself to get invested to the point it shows in your emotions. Happiness, relief, excitement all wrapped up into a moment that we SHOULD never forget.
What will you remember about Romeo Langford?
Will you remember that he finished 1st in the B1G and 5th nationally in freshman scoring?
What about 6th overall in the B1G conference in scoring?
Will you remember that he was a 4-time B1G player of the week?
What about the fact that he was the top freshman scorer in the conference and led the 18-19’ Hoosiers as a team with 16.5 ppg?
.. as a freshman…
Forget accolades and statistics for a minute…
What about what he did for the fans? From the time he made his decision to commit to the Hoosiers to the time he made the decision to commit to the NBA, Romeo Langford made a significant impact on doing what is most important. Even in the face of defeat. He helped bring Hoosier fans together. He gave the fan base another reason to show why you love your Hoosiers. He took that passion to another level.
Sure, it may not have ended in another banner. But, he did give us his share of memories we should cherish for years to come.
I think I speak for most IU fans when I say,
Best of luck, Romeo. You will always be a Hoosier.