An unwritten redemption story


On the night of December 29th, 2018, Joshua Langford wrote the prologue to his redemption story when he exited the trivial non-conference game against Northern Illinois with what was thought to be a mild stress injury to his foot. Later though, his on-court status went from an optimistic “questionable” to a definite IR (injury reserve) placement. Hall of Fame Michigan State Head Coach, Tom Izzo, broke the news to the media about Josh’s status for the 2018-2019 season by exclaiming:

“It’s with great sadness that I have to announce that after numerous studies, rehabilitation, and an attempt at return, it has been determined that Josh [Langford] will miss the remainder of the season.”

Izzo then reiterated the fact that Josh’s stress injury was luckily caught early enough to have an opportunity to alter the long-term side-effects on his premature body (Boone 2019). A three-year stalwart for the Spartans, Langford was producing the following career-high stat sheet for the inauguration of the 2018-2019 season: 15 points per game, 2.3 assists per game, and 3.6 rebounds per game before going down. Langford specifically doused his stat line with a spicy entrée of 29 points and a side of five rebounds against Kerwin Roach and Texas on November 23rd. 

Over the course of his three-year tenure as a spartan, Langford has made significant strides in all aspects of his game. While he entered his freshman year as primarily a shooter and scorer, Joshua has taken the extra step in both his defensive status and leadership. Langford was selected as a captain prior to his 2018-2019 season that was obviously cut short due to excessive foot problems. Additionally, Joshua’s defensive progress has been remarkable. At a lean and athletic 6 feet 5 inches, he can virtually defend any guard on the court. Tom Izzo describes Langford as a tremendous leader and motivator on and off the floor. 

“I always ask guys the three-part question. Do you like what you do, love what you do, or live what you do?” Izzo explicated. “Joshua was a ‘live it’ guy, which is the highest.” Josh Langford started in all but three games in his to-be-continued college career, those three being his first three games. Joshua’s tremendous ability to knock down shots at will and defend on the other end makes him an incredibly versatile player and game-changer. Regardless of his injury history, Langford will enter the 2020 season with sky-high expectations, considering the amount of time that he has been given to physically prepare for the upcoming year. 

In terms of Langford’s outlook on this season, his injury has not festered to any further severity, but the role in which he will play for the Spartans has been camouflaged by uncertainty and deception. The bottom line is that—if Langford does in fact return to suit up for the green and white—his production will rely on his solid three-point dagger and his knowledgeable basketball mind. No matter how healthy his foot is, he will still most likely play a reserved, microwave role from the bench; however, his off court charisma will substantially carry him over the horizon as the most vital voice on the bench for the Spartans. The fans that bleed green and white can only hope for a physically rejuvenated Joshua Langford to lead them into battle against the alpha dogs of the Big Ten Conference.