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Top 16 profiles, Keith Langford
January 6, 2012
Keith Langford proved to everyone that he can be an elite scorer in his first two Euroleague seasons. Last year, the shooting guard was the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season scoring leader with 18.7 points over 10 games with BC Khimki. But after he parted ways with the Russian club at the start of this season, Langford stepped into a new role when he joined Maccabi Electra shortly after the Euroleague season tipped off.
Finding chemistry with his new team was never going to be easy with the Israeli champs playing three games a week plus added travel. However through hard work, Langford’s skills began to shine through. By the middle of the regular season, he stepped into a starting role and proceeded to lead Maccabi in scoring in two of the last three regular season games.
Heading into the Top 16, the Maccabi backcourt is bound to look different once more with the addition of point guard Demond Mallet. However this time Maccabi’s new guard will have extended practice time to jell with Langford and the rest of the team. If all goes according to plan – as often does at a powerhouse like Maccabi with a coaching master like David Blatt running the show – Mallet’s presence could help Langford take his game up a notch and give Maccabi an elite scorer to lead the team back to the Final Four.
Langford seemed destined for stardom during an outstanding college basketball career at the University of Kansas during which he helped the Jayhawks to a pair of NCAA final four appearances and won three Big 12 Conference titles. He began his European career in Italy with Biella in 2008. After a successful half season, Langford joined Virtus Bologna for the 2008-09 campaign, led that team to the EuroChallenge title, and was named MVP of the final four. Khimki snatched him up that summer, he earned Euroleague weekly MVP honors in his fifth game and led the team to within a basket of the Playoffs.
Fast forward to 2012 and Langford is in a new situation, but still capable of lighting up the scoreboard on any given night. The job that lies ahead won’t be easy, however surrounded by elite players, Maccabi’s winning tradition and a wild cast of fanatic supporters that fill Nokia Arena for every home game, the stage is set for Langford to rise to the top again and help the yellow-and-blue battle for another Final Four berth.
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