Boston Celtics lottery pick stops in at the Hall of Fame

As part of Romeo Langford’s summer tour, he stopped in for an interview at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA as part of their 60 Days of Summer program. After being drafted #14 by the Boston Celtics in the 2019 NBA Draft, he has flown under the radar a bit so far.

Other Celtics rookies have received more publicity this summer even though Romeo was their first selection. Grant Williams, Tacko Fall, Carsen Edwards and even Tremont Waters have garnered more headlines than Langford. He sat out the Las Vegas Summer League as he rehabbed his thumb coming off surgery after his collegiate season.

My impression of Langford is that he likes his low-key status. His personality off the court is a lot like his game on the court - calm and smooth. He took a handful of questions from an interviewer at this small event, and here are some of the takeaways:

  • Langford was a McDonald’s All-American and the #5 recruit in the 2018 class coming out of high school. 
  • He decided to stay home and not go to a big prep high school somewhere else in the country, even though they were all interested. 
  • He also didn’t go far for his college season either, as Indiana’s Mr. Basketball chose to play at Indiana University
  • His family was mentioned on a couple occasions, and one of the reasons for staying local for high school was that his sister was going to be a senior when he was a freshman. 
  • Romeo grew up watching his pops play in 3-on-3 tournaments in the area, and he would emulate his moves. 
  • Langford grew up more interested in football, but transitioned and focused on basketball in sixth grade. He credits his father for getting him into football early in his life because it toughened him up and taught him to play through injury. 
  • This benefitted him in his freshman year at Indiana, where he scored the third most points as a freshman in school history with a nagging injury. 
  • He played for Team USA U19 in 2017 with new teammate Carsen Edwards. Langford mentioned how he wasn’t sure the Celtics were drafting him despite a couple interviews. To handle the nerves on draft night, he did not want updates from his agent and watched YouTube videos in the green room. 
  • Like many new NBAers, he is excited to see himself in the new NBA2k19 video game
  • And although he mentioned LeBron James as someone he looked up to growing up, Romeo saved himself with Celtics fans by mentioning Larry Bird as his favorite Celtics player. Maybe the Indiana ties had something to do with that. 
It’s always interesting hearing a players perspective on things, even though nothing earth shattering was discussed during this easy interview.

It will be interesting to see Langford during the Celtics' preseason after not playing a game with a healthy thumb since the beginning of his freshman year at Indiana. Due to all the guard and wing depth on the current roster, the Celtics can take time in developing him. This may be helpful and bode well for his career, as he has been working on a new shot.

Let’s hope Danny Ainge has found a diamond-in-the-rough in this former prep star.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Stier/Getty Images