As expected, Michigan State graduate senior guard Joshua Langford will not take advantage of the extra year of college eligibility and return to the Spartans for the 2021-2022 season. Additionally, he will not pursue a professional career in basketball, either. Langford announced his decision to walk away from the sport on his Instagram.
Langford penned the following statement:
“There is so much that I can say about my journey here at Michigan State that I could be writing for days. If I had to condense everything down it would be in this one proverb that says, ‘many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s will that will prevail.’
“My college experience wasn’t what I imagined it to be, but it exceeded all of my expectations and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of Michigan State and I will forever be a Spartan. I will forever be grateful for my coaches, teammates, Spartan Nation, friends, professors, and all the other relationships in East Lansing that I have built throughout my years of being here. I would also like to thank my parents, sister, girlfriend, and pastors for supporting me as well. This journey with the game of basketball has been amazing and despite the hardships that I have faced, they have made me better.
“With that being said, I will not pursue a professional career. Although it will be new to me, I am excited for the next part of my race. I would also want to encourage others to see that you have much more in you than what you do right now. Do not allow what you do to define who you are because it doesn’t. We all have many hats that we can wear. You don’t have to be afraid of taking new steps that others may not think you should take. Sometimes people’s expectations and demands on us can be a gravitational pull that will cause us to stay in our comfort zones. You don’t have to live in a box that is built by what culture and other people say you should do. That doesn’t mean you don’t listen, but it does mean that you don’t limit yourself. Don’t even let yourself stop you from taking new steps. The feeling of fear isn’t always an indicator that you shouldn’t, sometimes the feeling of fear is an indicator that you should. I encourage you all to just go for it. We all have been uniquely designed to do unique things. So go for it.
“And last but not least…. GO GREENNNNNN”
Langford first came to Michigan State in 2016 as a five-star recruit. He played in 83 games, with 75 starts, before suffering a devastating stress fracture in his left foot in late December of 2018 against Northern Illinois, which ended his junior season in 2018-2019 — the same season the Spartans made a Final Four run. Langford was hoping to return for the 2019-2020 season, but he had another setback with his foot that required a second surgery in December 2019, and he never saw the court in what would have been his senior campaign.
Finally, after a lot of rehab and adversity, Langford was able to return to the court for the Spartans in 2020-2021 as a graduate senior. Following the injuries, though, there was a noticeable loss in his step and quickness, which should have been expected. However, you could always count on Langford to give Tom Izzo and his teammates everything he had while on the floor. Langford finished the season averaging 28 minutes, 9.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 37.7 percent from the floor, and 34.3 percent from the three-point line, as well as 74.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Langford, along with a few of his teammates, also tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in January, which led to Michigan State taking a 20-day pause in full team activities and games. The virus, of course, also affected Langford’s ability to get back to the player he once was, but overall, Langford played in 27 games on the season, while approaching nearly 30 minutes per night on average.
Throughout his career as a Spartan, Langford played in 110 games with 101 starts. He averaged 10.1 points, three rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 43.1 percent overall, 39 percent from three-point range and about 79 percent from the free-throw line, while playing about 25.5 minutes per game.
After Michigan State’s loss to UCLA in the First Four round of the NCAA Tournament, Langford said that he “played his last college basketball game,” so, of course this news isn’t too surprising. Langford could have returned to Michigan State in 2021-2022 for a sixth season that would not have counted against MSU’s 13 scholarship allotment, but he felt it was time for him to move on and find the next challenge in his journey. Given his unfortunate injury history, the fact that he won’t pursue a professional career isn’t shocking, either. With that said, whatever Langford plans to do professionally, there is a highly likely chance he’ll be successful at it because his determination and perseverance is otherworldly, and we wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.