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New Albany star Langford named Gatorade Player of the Year

New Albany senior guard Romeo Langford has been named the Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

By Staff report

CHICAGO -- In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Romeo Langford of New Albany High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Langford is the first Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from New Albany High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Langford as Indiana’s best high school boys basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Langford joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 and 2013-14, St. Joseph HS, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 and 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.).

The 6-foot-5, 170-pound senior guard has led the Bulldogs to a 23-1 record and a berth in the Class 4A sectional semifinals, scheduled for March 9. One of the most prolific scorers in state history, Langford has averaged 36.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.3 steals per game while shooting 70 percent from inside the arc. A McDonald’s All-American and ranked as the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2018 according to the ESPN 100, Langford is a three-time First-Team All-State member and the frontrunner for Mr. Basketball in Indiana.

A member of the school’s radio and TV club as well as a volunteer at local youth basketball camps and leagues, Langford also donates his time to various elementary and middle schools as a student mentor.

“I’ve been truly blessed to be in my 28th season as a head coach, and I’ve run into some great coaches and great players over the years,” said Mike Adams, the head coach at Evansville’s Reitz High. “If I could go with anyone I’ve ever watched in high school, Romeo would be the first pick. We haven’t had a Romeo Langford before.”

Langford has maintained a 3.29 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination. 

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Langford joins recent Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Players of the Year Brian Bowen (2016-17, La Lumiere School), Kyle Guy (2015-16, Lawrence Central High School), Caleb Swanigan (2014-15, Homestead High School), Trey Lyles (2013-14, Arsenal Technical High School), Zak Irvin (2012-13, Hamilton Southeastern High School), Gary Harris (2011-12, Hamilton Southeastern High School), Cody Zeller (2010-11, Washington High School), Travis Carroll (2009-10, Danville Community High School), Jordan Hulls (2008-09, Bloomington High School South), Tyler Zeller (2007-08, Washington High School) and Eric Gordon (2006-07, North Central High School) among the state’s list of former award winners. 

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Romeo will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.