Published on 6/15/2012
By Chris Sokoloski
Andrews High School's Harold Langley Jr. recently signed to play basketball at the University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie.
"It's always been my dream to play at the next level," Langley said. "It means a lot to me. I'm the first person in my family to go to college and play sports."
Langley started playing basketball when he was 3.
"Where I grew up, everybody played basketball," Langley said.
By the time he was 7 he was playing with the older kids. When he was 11, people started noticing his talent.
Playing in college was Langley's goal, but that seemed out of reach when he tore the ACL in his right knee just before his junior season.
"I kept praying and kept telling myself to keep working hard," Langley said. "It probably helped me become a better player. I was also focused on getting better in school."
Langley recovered and was named the Region VII-AA player of the year after his senior season.
Salkehatchie coach Travis Garrett believes the injury may have scared off some larger schools.
"If he hadn't been injured we would not have had the opportunity to recruit the kid," Garrett said.
Garrett is hoping Langley can contribute as a freshman, but "we would be wiling to let him rehab all year and not play him if need be."
Langley wants to study sports management and become an athletic trainer. He has been doing weight training to get bigger and stronger and working on his game every day.
That should help with the transition from high school to college, according to Garrett.
"Everybody was the best player on their high school team," he said. "You perform and do what you need to do or you're not going to play. Young guys learn that very quickly."
Salkehatchie is a two-year school and Langley could move on to a larger school when he's completed his time there. Garrett said he's coached several players who have taken that route.