Fearless Freshman:

Sose Langi Shines On The Court Despite Her Age

Highland+Freshman+Sose+Langi+dribbling+past+East%27s+defender.

Ethan Sutton

Highland Freshman Sose Langi dribbling past East's defender.

Quinn Stephenson, Rambler Staff Writer

In the biggest rivalry game of the year, Sose Langi did not crack under pressure. Each time she touched the ball, the student section erupted in fresh chants of “She’s a freshman!” For anyone new to watching the Highland girls’ basketball team, this is the only clue that Langi is 14-years old. Based on how mature her level of play is, it’s hard to imagine that the only place she can legally drive is through the paint.
The girls’ basketball team at Highland played their rival East on Tuesday, January 21. Highland won 60-43, with contributions by leading scorer Kaija Glasker who had 25 points, closely followed by Langi, who scored 17 points.
The Rams are region champions and one of the highest ranked teams in the state — 3rd in the latest RPI rankings — and Langi is one of the driving forces behind this surge. Highland hosts a playoff game tonight at 7 p.m.
In high school basketball, a freshman starting varsity is rare. A freshman being one of the teams’ leading scorers is practically unheard of. Langi has defied all odds this basketball season.
The Rams have quite a few fresh faces this season. Many of their freshmen play varsity. Amongst these freshmen, Langi averages nearly 15 points each game. Her devotion to the sport is displayed by practicing more than 30 hours each week and traveling all over the country in the summer with her competitive AAU basketball club, Premier.
Langi’s AAU coach Anita Rowland is known for sending many players to collegiate play in the past, and Langi is no exception.
“She is trending toward playing in a college program. I know she will achieve that goal,” Rowland said.
Over the summer, Langi and her team won a Nike Nationals tournament in Chicago paired against many of the top teams from all over the country. Being on an elite competitive team has helped mold Langi as a player:
“Being on a competitive team has prepared me for high school, especially when it comes down to the fundamentals,” Langi said.
Basketball defines Langi, and it’s been that way since 5th grade. She has only been playing for four years, and this is her first year playing high school. She has already managed to become a major asset to Highland. Langi has left coaches and teammates impressed and has proven to be a key element to a winning season.
“Sose is the kind of player that shows a lot of promise, I’m looking forward to a great season with these girls,” head coach Kurt Schneider said early in the season.
With all the time she dedicates to basketball, Langi still has 138 hours left in her week. She spends that time trying to focus on things that are more important to her, even if they don’t require as much time.
“Outside of basketball I spend time with my family and friends and also going to church,” Langi said.
Church has always been a huge part of Langi’s life growing up. With support from her family, friends, and church, Sose has grown so much as a player and continues to get better and better.
Her hard work has been paying off, but that doesn’t mean that playing point guard as a freshman has proven to be any less of a challenge, especially considering the point guard is the natural leader on the floor.
“I don’t even like to play point guard! It isn’t my usual position but I’m getting used to it. The pressure is a lot to handle sometimes,” Langi said.
Being new to the position, and still excelling, shows the versatility of her game. Ranging from the ability to put multiple threes away per game, to her aggressive drive in the paint, Langi is very difficult to defend. Her size makes it hard for players to shut her down and she is skilled enough to match up with players taller than her.
“Sose has worked tirelessly on her game to improve her 3-point shooting, ball handling, and scoring in the paint,” Rowland explained.
But being a freshman comes with its own set of struggles. Because of her youth she has made mistakes in games but because she is so focused, she is determined to learn from those mistakes. Overall, this is helping her develop as a player, and she will be prepared when tournament time comes around.
Langi stays consistent with her drive to win, attacking the court from every angle. She handles the ball very well and does whatever will help her team the most. The team follows her lead and they all mesh well together out on the court:
“She loves to win, loves to play the game, and is fun to coach,” Rowland added.
With the state tournament here, Langi could be a major factor in determining how far the Rams can go.