Romeo Langford Biography
Romeo Langford is an American basketball player from New Albany, Indiana. In high school, Langford was a prolific scorer and immediately received national attention from every prestigious college program across the country. He finished his high school career as the fourth all-time leading scorer in Indiana high school basketball state history. He was the #7 overall recruit of the 2018 class and committed to Indiana University. With the Hoosiers, Langford started 32 games in his one and only season, averaging 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Langford played most of the season with a torn ligament in the thumb of his shooting hand but chose to delay surgery in order to finish the season. After his freshman year, he declared for the NBA Draft and was the #14 overall pick to the Boston Celtics.
- Name: Romeo Langford
- Position: Shooting Guard
- Nationality: USA
- Birthday: October 25, 1999
- Age: 23 years old
- Hometown: New Albany, Indiana
- High School: New Albany High School
- Height: 6’6″ (1.98 m)
- Weight: 215 lbs (98 kg)
- Seasons at Indiana University: 1 (2018-2019)
- Jersey: #1 High School / #0 College / #45 Professional
- NBA Draft: 2019 / Round 1 / Pick #14 (Boston Celtics)
Romeo Langford’s Seasons with the Hoosiers
19-16 (8-12 Big Ten)
🏅 NIT Quarterfinals
Romeo Langford’s Statistics at Indiana University
Romeo Langford’s High School Career
Langford grew up in New Albany, Indiana and actually lived on the same block as future Purdue football star Rondale Moore. In fact, the two played high school basketball together during their first two years of high school.
Growing up, Langford was an immediate stand-out player. He drew a great deal of interest from multiple prep schools but ultimately decided to stay at his hometown New Albany High School. He made an instant impact as a freshman, leading New Albany to 23 victories.
Langford stated, “I didn’t really start thinking I was good at basketball until my freshman year, probably. Then I realized I could play and compete with older guys.”
The next season, as a sophomore, Langford’s explosive offensive performances carried the team to 27 wins and a victory in the class 4A state championship. This was the school’s first state title in over 40 years. As a junior, the team secured 25 wins and reached the state quarterfinals. Despite the pressure of being one of the nation’s top recruits, Langford opened his senior year campaign by dropping 48 points in New Albany’s 76-point victory over Charlestown, 110-34. Later that season, he would increase his single-game career-high point total with a 63 point performance against Jennings County. Langford’s high school career would end with a last-second loss to Warren Central in semi-state. Even after the heartbreaking loss, Langford showed his maturity and gratitude by staying after the game to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
New Albany basketball coach Jim Shannon called Langford a “coach’s dream” and noted, “Being put up on a pedestal like that, very often they fall off of it sooner or later… He doesn’t seem to do that – ever. I’ve never seen him mess up in an interview or signing an autograph after a game or going to visit wherever we visit. He never complained. All the attention he received and he’s still ‘yes sir, no sir.’ People really like him. He is easy to like.”
Romeo Langford High School Statistics
- Freshman: 17.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game
- Sophomore: 30.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game
- Junior: 28.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game
- Senior: 35.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game
Langford was one of the most prolific scorers in Indiana high school basketball history. He finished fourth on the all-time Indiana state high school scoring list with 3002 points, just 132 points shy of Damon Bailey’s all time points record. He also won several accolades for his senior year, including: Boys Athlete of the Year, Indiana Mr. Basketball, and was named a McDonald’s All-American. During the McDonald’s All-American festivities, Langford won the Legends and Stars Shootout competition.
Langford secured the Mr. Basketball title with an overwhelming majority of the vote. He was named on 264 of the 294 ballots. Langford received 89.8% of all votes. This was the highest percentage of votes received since Eric Gordon had 91.1% of votes in 2007. The second highest total went to Evansville Bosse’s Mekhi Lairy with only 11. A few of Langford’s fellow future IU teammates also received votes. Robert Phinisee finished third with 6 votes and Damezi Anderson also received votes.
Throughout his high school career, Langford was the subject of intense recruiting from college basketball’s most prestigious programs. According to 24/7 Composite rankings, Langford was a 5-star prospect, ranked #7 in the nation overall, the #1 prospect in the state of Indiana, and the #2 shooting guard prospect.
He reportedly had offers from 14 schools, including UCLA, Kentucky, Purdue, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, and Michigan State. Ultimately, Langford narrowed down his choices to Indiana, Kansas, and Vanderbilt.
Langford discussed what he was looking for in a school, saying, “The education aspect of it. If I do leave early, I want to be able to come back and finish school. And my relationship with the coach, if I can trust him, if my parents can trust him. If they’re going to treat me as one of their own.”
Indiana appeared to be the early front-runner as Langford had often discussed his love for the state’s basketball heritage. In particular, Langford also openly talked about his admiration for Indiana head coach Archie Miller and assistant Ed Schilling, saying Miller always got the best of his players and noting Schilling had a great track record for individual development of players. Kansas also intrigued Langford because of its storied history and Bill Self’s ability to prepare players, particularly bigger guards, for the next level. Langford cited Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre as examples of players with similar body profiles as him that went to Kansas and were prepared for the NBA. Finally, Vanderbilt was a surprise to many outsiders but had several factors working in its favor. Then-Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew was an Indiana native and a college basketball legend at Valparaiso University. Moreover, Drew spent several years as a shooting guard in the NBA and understood how to be a successful pro. Similarly, many of Drew’s assistant coaches were Midwesterners, including University of Illinois legend Roger Powell Jr. and former Valpo point guard Jake Diebler (brother of Ohio State sharpshooter Jon Diebler). Langford said he felt comfortable with Drew because of his NBA experience and his ability to help his players with prostyle drills and helping them understand what they need to do on and off the court. Vanderbilt was, at the time, seen as a program on the rise with a youthful approach.
On April 30, 2018, Romeo Langford announced his commitment to Indiana University. In a press conference held at New Albany High School, Langford made the announcement in front of thousands of fans who showed up to hear his commitment in person and over 10,000 watched the feed on a livestream.
Romeo Langford’s College Career
After his legendary high school career and heralded recruitment, Langford stepped onto campus with immense expectations. Immediately, Langford was projected to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft and was assumed to be leaving after just one season even before his college career began.
Langford was part of a six-member freshman class that also included his backcourt mate Rob Phinisee. Because of Indiana’s youth, Langford had to carry the burden of the offense and was an instant go-to player alongside veteran Juwan Morgan.
Over the course of the season, he appeared in 32 games and started in all of them. Langford averaged 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He shot 44.8% from the field overall, 27.2% from three, and 72.2% from the free throw line, resulting in a 49.1% effective field goal percentage. His player efficiency rating (PER) was 19.9.
He began his Indiana career with a 19 point performance against Chicago State in his first-ever regular-season game. Langford continued his production during the early part of the season with a standout performance against Marquette where he dropped 22 points and 10 rebounds.
His two most scoring prolific games as a Hoosier came in an eight day stretch at the beginning of January 2019. He scored 28 points and had 6 assists against Illinois. He followed this performance with 28 points against Maryland.
Another standout moment came February 27, 2019 against #19 Wisconsin. In the game, Langford had 22 points and 7 rebounds. However, it was the final moments of the game that are most fondly remembered by Indiana fans. With a tie score and just seconds remaining, Langford calmly controlled possession, drove in the lane, and made a game-winning layup. This 75-73 upset of Wisconsin was one of his highlight performances in the cream and crimson.
In his 32 game Indiana career, he only scored in single digits in four games.
Throughout the majority of the season, Langford was suffering from a torn ligament in his right thumb that affected his shooting hand. While Langford was never known for being a dominant three-point shooter, many believe his shooting from beyond the arc would have been significantly better than 27% if he did not have his nagging thumb injury. The injury occurred late in November in a practice right before the Hoosiers game against Duke.
“I think it’s fair to say we never got a chance to see me at my best at the college level, especially since I’ve been playing with basically a cast on my thumb the whole season,” Langford said in April 2019 after declaring for the draft. “Obviously that throws off your shot. Even though I didn’t shoot as well as I’m capable of, I feel like I shot the ball pretty well in the second half of the season.”
At the time of the injury in November, the doctors told Langford that he could have the surgery immediately and be shut down for the rest of the season but return in time for draft preparation. Or, he could play through the pain and have the surgery after the season. Langford chose to play and delay surgery.
Langford said, “I tried to keep going with the injury instead of shutting it down, just because I wanted to experience college basketball and I wanted to be there for my teammates and help them be all that they can be.”
Romeo Langford’s NBA Career
With the #14 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Langford was selected by the Boston Celtics. Later in the draft, the Celtics would also take Purdue’s Carsen Edwards. Alongside former Butler coach turned head coach of the Celtics Brad Stevens, Boston’s team quickly became a favorite for basketball fans from the state of Indiana.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens talked about Langford after drafting him, saying, “He’s been a good player for a long time. A guy that as far as state of Indiana high school basketball was probably as followed as anybody in the last 15 years.… He has been well coached both in high school and in college, and a guy we think has a lot of things that translate to the NBA. Obviously a long, versatile, athletic wing. He can play multiple positions, can handle the ball, can play in pick and roll, can do some of that stuff. So we’re excited about Romeo.”