Langston Hall is a 27 year old 193cm point guard from Atlanta, Georgia playing his fifth professional season and second with ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1). He began his basketball career with Mercer in 2010 and played there until 2014 playig a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 36 games averaging 14.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 39.1%, FT: 85.0%. He began his professional career in 2014 with Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia (Italy-Serie A,) playing 28 games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4 (5.0apg), FGP: 29.8%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 77.6%. IN the 2015-2016 season he split time with Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Italy-Serie A) playing 7 games averaging 8.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.9apg, 2FGP: 48.1%, 3FGP: 50.0%, FT: 80.0%; and played 5 FIBA Europe Cup games averaged 7.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.8apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 23.8%, 3FGP: 63.6%, FT: 75.0% and in Dec.’15 signed at Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL) playing 15 games averaging 4.3ppg, 1.7rpg, 4.1apg. In the 2016-2017 season he played with Kolossos H Hotels (Greece-A1) playing 29 games averaging 10.6ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-5 (4.1apg), FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 74.7%. Last season he split time with KK Cibona VIP Zagreb (Croatia-A1), and in Oct.’17 moved to ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1) playing 26 games averaging 10.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 40.9%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 83.7%. He spoke togermanhoops.com earlier in the season about basketball.
Langston thanks for talking to germanhoops.com It’s coming up on three years since you last played in Germany with the Telkom Baskets Bonn. Since then you have played in Croatia and Greece. Has time flown by since then?
Time has definitely flown by since my days in Germany. It’s crazy that I am in my fifth season overseas.
You were in Bayreuth recently for a Basketball Champions League game and what memories do you have of the 85-69 win with Bonn over Bayreuth where you contributed 9 points.?
I don’t remember to much of that game because it was three years ago but I remember they were a good team who shared the ball and played hard.
After your whirlwind sophomore season where you jumped around teams, you have played parts of three seasons in Greece. Would you say that Greece has become like a second home for you now? –
I would say yes it is like a second home to me. I have played now more than half my career here. I know what to expect and how things work here.
Your playing your second season for ASP Promitheas Patras (Greece-A1) and four seasons ago played in the fourth Greece league and made a gradual swing to the A-1 league. How have you experienced the basketball excitement with this organization the last two seasons?
It is a crazy story for a team to climb up the ranks like Promitheas has done over the last few years. The organization is very excited to be at the point that we are at now. It is an honor to be a part of their tradition.
Does the club feel pressure from last seasons unbelievable and somewhat unexpected semi-final run to need to equal or better last season’s success?
Not many people outside of our team excepted anything like that last year in only their second season in first division. I don’t think there is a lot of pressure on us now, but teams are just gunning for us more this year. We aren’t the underdogs like we were last season. Teams around the Greek league know who we are and are coming for us.
You’re one of two Americans with Octavius Ellis from last season and four new guys have arrived for this season. There are no real stars, but four new hungry Americans. Between the guys Brown, Parks, and Meier and which player has been the biggest surprise for you with his play on the court?
All of our new foreigners bring something different to the table. I wouldn’t say any of them surprised me because I have either played against them before or watched them play, so I knew what they were capable of doing. Tony Meier is a great shooter and helps spread the floor at the 4. RIon Brown is a good scorer who can score in a variety of ways. Terrell Parks is a strong, physical big man who does the dirty work. All of which are great pieces to add to our returning players.
How magical was last season’s run in Greece. You were swept by top Euroleague team Olympiakos, but do you feel like you may have had the momentum going into game three had you won game two which you lost by one point?
Last season’s run was very magical seeing how the year before Promitheas finished 9th place in the regular season. To go from there to 3rd in the regular season and 4th in the playoffs shows a huge step. Game 2 against Olympiacos was a crazy a game and if we could of pulled it out, I think it would for sure gave them a lot of pressure going into game 3 and put the momentum on our side.
What was the secret to the success last season. How vital was the contribution of the Greek players? Could one say that they kept the team together?
I think one of the main reasons for success last year was that we didn’t have any egos. No one cared about their personal success. It was all about the team. We knew we didn’t have that one big star player so we had to play together. We have a few of the best Greek players in the league and they did an amazing job leading us and keeping us on track.
In your first two seasons in Greece you had a 0-9 record against the two top Euroleague team Panthinaikos and Olympiakos. If there was one player that you will forever remember as the player that impressed you most who would it be? Possibly Vassiis Spanoulis? –
Playing against those teams in Greece is a tough task and I haven’t been fortunate enough to get a win against either of them. Spanoulis is probably that player because he will go down as one of the best point guard’s in European history. He is a little older now but he still reads the game at a high level and still makes the big time shots.
In your sophomore season you played in Italy, Belgium and Germany. What did you learn from this season that helped you have successful seasons the last two?
Everyone thinks I played in Belgium but I actually never did. When I was leaving Italy I was about to sign a contract with Oostende but it was reported that I did. I stayed in Italy another few days and ended up signing in Germany instead. This was a big year for me because it wasn’t a successful one. I learned know matter what I had to stay positive and work on my game even though I wasn’t playing much.
You played briefly in Cantu and was teammates with sniper Brady Heslip who Jerry Stackhouse said is the best shooter on earth. How did you experience his shooting and where do you rank it?
It was crazy because I played with Brady that year in Italy then left and went to Germany to play with Rotnei Clark. Those two guys are for sure the best shooters I have ever played with. Seeing the way those guys shot the ball every day in practice was pretty special. I might have to give Brady a very slight edge as the best shooter though.
In Bonn you were teammates with veteran Jimmy Mckinney who is a basketball legend from St Louis. Did you soak anything up from his work ethic? –
Jimmy had a great work ethic and was one of the main guys who helped me stay positive when I wasn’t playing very much in Germany. He always came early and/or stayed after practice to get extra work in. Jimmy was a great teammate and an even better person.
As a rookie you balled for Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia (Italy-Serie A) playing 28 games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4 (5.0apg), FGP: 29.8%, 3PT: 35.6%, FT: 77.6%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from home in Atlanta? –
As a rookie playing in Serie A was a great learning experience. It taught me about the grind of a 9-10 month professional season. Things will not always go your way every game but you can control how hard you work.
You had some serious veterans on that team like 38 year old Linton Johnson who played in the NBA and is still playing today with San Nicola Basketball Cedars (Italy-Serie C Silver). Was he like a mentor for you? Is there anything particular that you will always remember about him?
Linton only played a few games with us before he left the team. He was for sure like a mentor for me early on the season. Always pulling me a side and talking to me. As a rookie in Europe especially at the point guard position you need something like that. Something I will remember about him is that even though he was at the end of his career he was still playing as hard if not harder than anyone else on the court.
In the summer of 2014 you played NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat. What memories do you have of breathing NBA air and did you make any interesting encounters while there?
Coming right out of college and playing in the NBA Summer League it really shows you the difference between college and being a professional. Everybody is bigger, stronger and faster. It was a great experience with the Miami Heat organization and they were first class. I played with some great players who are still playing in the NBA at a high level like James Ennis for the Rockets and Tyler Johnson for the Heat. Also with a lot of guys who are playing in Europe at a high level.
You had some very interesting teammates that would reach the NBA like Shabazz Napier and another guy that is no longer with us with Tyler Honeycutt. What memories do you have of the big German kid Danilo Barthel?
It was great getting to know those guys and interact with them outside of basketball. Danilo was very skilled big man and a great guy.
You played at Mercer from 2010-2014. What was your sweetest memory there reaching the NIT Sweet 16 or A-Sun final in 2013?
Those were both great accomplishments for the program but the sweetest memory was actually winning the ASUN championship in 2014 against FGCU. They beat us in the conference tournament in 2012 and 2013 (the year they went on to make a sweet 16 run in the NCAA tournament). To finally get over that hump and beat the team that had turned into a rivalry was amazing.
You played many games in your career, but you surely will never forget the two tight loses against Belmont in your sophomore season. Were the battles with Ian Clark as intense as the games?
Belmont was in our conference for two years and we had some great games with them. They were an excellent team with great players like Ian Clark who is in the NBA but also guys like Kerron Johnson and JJ Mann who are still playing in Europe. They also had Drew Hanlen (who trains some of the top NBA players) who was a pretty good player as well. Those were some very intense games but sadly we actually came up short every time against those guys.
I would imagine the 78-71 win against Duke your senior year was your most memorable win where you scored 11 points. What still stands out from the game more than 4 and a half years ago?
The biggest thing that stands out to me is just being on that stage in the NCAA tournament. As a little kid growing up, who plays basketball, you always watch March Madness and see all of the upsets that happen every year. To actually be in that position against one of the best programs in college basketball history and pulling of that upset is like a dream come true. Growing up I was always a big Duke fan so that made it that much better.
That team had six future NBA players. When looking back then at your game and what they brought to the table was there really so much difference or was their abilities so much above the crowd?
Ability wise they were way better than us and we knew that. We knew if we made this an individual game we would get beat pretty badly. We also knew if we played as a team, shared the ball and just went out there and competed together that we could play with anyone. We had a starting lineup with all Seniors so we were pretty battle tested even though that Duke team was the most individually talented team we had played.
How did head coach Bob Hoffman groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Hoffman did an amazing job of getting me ready for the next level. Two of the main things that he got me better at that help me a lot as a professional are being a vocal leader on the court and knowing how to run a team. He gave me a lot of freedom in college to call plays my last two years and pretty much see how the rhythm of the game was going.
Who won a one on one back in the day you or Travis Smith?
Travis Smith is my guy and backcourt running partner at Mercer for two years. I think we might have to keep that one a secret.
You played against many great players in the NCAA, but who was the toughest battle that is in the NBA now?
I played against some really good NBA guys while I was in college but the toughest match ups were probably two underrated guys in Josh Richardson at Tennessee University and Quinn Cook at Duke. They were both very good players in college but what made them tough were that they weren’t just good offensive players they were two way players. They took the challenge of guarding the other teams best player.
Who would be your starting five of best teammates you ever played with?
That is a very difficult question. I might have to go with Eugene Lawrence at point guard, CJ Williams at the 2, Casey Prather at the other wing, Aaron White at the 4 and Octavious Ellis at the 5. I think a team of those guys would be pretty good.
If you had to construct your very own NBA mount Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar
What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?
That is a very tough question but right now I would have to say Michael Jordan but Lebron’s career isn’t over yet so he has time to change that.
Thanks Langston for the chat.