Langley not here for the attention
By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Nyjanique Langley doesn’t like attention, even though her play on the court warrants it more often than not.
The North Pitt senior basketball player scored her 2,000th-career point Feb. 9 against Farmville Central and is set for one last playoff run with the Panthers (20-5), who are the No. 3 seed in the 2-A East and host Graham tonight at 6:30 in the first round.
Langley, a 5-foot-11 guard, is averaging career-highs in almost every major statistical category, including points (26.5), rebounds (7.6), assists (4.4) and steals (4.2) per game. She has scored 30-plus points nine times this season, and had at least 20 in all but three games.
She is arguably the most key part to the Panthers winning the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference regular season championship this year, but Langley has never been one to enjoy the spotlight when it could be spread around to her teammates.
“I don't make everything about me,” she said. “It's 'we.' I always say 'we.'”
Though she quickly downplays her own success, Langley has always been one to eagerly gush about her teammates. Last season, when asked her favorite moment in a junior season that earned her The Daily Reflector’s all-county player of the year award, she immediately pointed to a moment in which then-freshman guard Ashanti Hines performed a crossover move that made a defender fall down.
Likewise, instead of pinpointing any of her own accomplishments during her senior season, Langley chose to highlight senior center Alyssa Kerns and the fact Kerns, known mostly as a rebounder, scored a career-high eight points in a win over Beddingfield on Jan. 30.
Kerns said Langley’s impact on the team goes beyond what she contributes to the box score.
“She’s kind of what sticks us together,” Kerns said. “She’s one of our biggest leaders on the team, and Ny is what kind of brings us all together and she gives us all an opportunity to succeed and shine in a way. She really isn’t a selfish player, even though some people might think she is based on what they see because she does score a lot of points, but it’s about more than that for her.”
Langley called her evolution into a leader the biggest change she has undergone in four years of playing at North Pitt. The last two of those have been under coach William Knight, who said Langley’s all-for-one mentality reaches beyond in-game situations.
“Her selflessness, I just can't explain it,” Knight said. “She works with them in practice telling them, 'You guys need to step up. It's not just about me. It's about us.' I'm more impressed with her that she doesn't stand out when she does it. She knows how to pull a teammate to her and let them know what they need to do. She doesn't try to embarrass a teammate and it's a sisterly love she shows them.”
With her senior season having now reached the point where any game could be her last, Langley said she’s become a bit reflective, admitting she will almost certainly cry when it is over.
Despite that, she said she’s still focused on the work to be done, both on the court and with the teammates she will leave behind when she graduates.
"(Hines) is very quiet and I'm trying to get her to talk more. Before I leave, my goal is to get Ashanti to say a whole sentence on the court," Langley said, laughing.
Contact Jordan Anders at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.