Once again heinnews columnist J.R. Holden switched from player and writer to interviewer and caught up with CSKA Moscow teammate Trajan Langdon. They talked about personal goals, the number 21, being humbled by playing professional baseball, Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones, playing at Duke and life after basketball.

heinnews/JR: You have been First-Team All-Euroleague, you have won Euroleague titles, and you have been Euroleague Final Four MVP. What more do you want to accomplish as a pro?
Langdon: For the remainder of my career I would like to play the best basketball that I can individually and for the team. At this point in my career to be able to do that means staying in shape and staying healthy. I would like to continue to contribute to my team’s success and continue to develop my individual game as well. Winning championships is always a great way to finish each season.

heinnews/JR: Do you set any personal goals before the season or just team goals?

Langdon: I don’t set exact goals like numbers or personal achievements. During the summer I try to work on things that I think could help me the next year. I try to implement those things into my game as the season progresses. But to answer your question, at this point in my career I don’t really set goals.

heinnews/JR: What is your favorite number and why?
Langdon: 21 is my favorite number. When I was young my favorite team was the L.A. Lakers and I really liked a player on that team named Michael Cooper. He wore 21 and that is where it started for me and the number 21.

heinnews/JR: What is your advice to any kids that want to be a professional basketball player?

Langdon: I would say first enjoy the game and love to play it. Work as hard as you can to become the best YOU can be. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too small, too slow, too skinny, etc. Keep striving to get better and better, and never let anyone stop you from striving to pursue your dream and make it come true.

heinnews/JR: You played pro baseball while attending Duke, how was that experience?
Langdon: Pro baseball was a great experience for me. I played for the San Diego Padres minor league system for 3 summers. I played about 2 months every summer. It was great for me because after my season at Duke, where we were on TV every week and getting a lot of media coverage and doing pretty well, I went to play minor league baseball. And for those that don’t know, playing in the minor leagues is a very humbling experience. Living in hotels and playing every day in some places that I had never heard. Because I was young I had to be at the field at 2:30 p.m. for a 6 p.m. game. They were long days and I struggled. I had to work hard physically and mentally, striving to become better each day. It was very difficult because after being successful at college basketball, I wasn’t very good at baseball because I didn’t have the time. I was playing against guys who played baseball all year and were professionals. So it was a very humbling experience, but one I will appreciate and never forget.

heinnews/JR: What have you loved the most about playing ball overseas?
Langdon: I think playing basketball in Europe has really allowed me to realize why I love the game so much and what about the game is important to me. Also to see places that I know I would have never seen in my life if I wouldn’t have had this opportunity has been something that I will always cherish.

heinnews/JR: Who was the best player you played against in the NBA, in Europe?
Langdon: NBA – Kobe Bryant
Europe – Alphonso Ford

heinnews/JR: Who did you pattern your game after growing up?
Langdon: Don’t think I really patterned my game after anybody specifically growing up, but I loved to watch college basketball and tried to take things from individuals’ games that I thought could help me. I really began to do it my junior and senior year in high school. I watched every televised game I could that the top teams played, especially Temple University.  Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones were on that team and watching studying their games, probably had the most influence on my game.

heinnews/JR: What is your favorite memory from playing basketball at Duke University?
Langdon: I think my favorite memory from playing at Duke has to be playing in big games in Cameron Indoor Stadium. There were times the crowd was so loud that I couldn’t really hear anything. I know that sounds weird, but it would get so loud that it felt surreal and I wished I could pause that moment in time because I knew that feeling would never be recreated. Even though we lost in the championship, playing in the Final Four my senior year was a dream come true and a great experience.

heinnews/JR: What is next for Trajan Langdon after basketball?

Langdon: Good question and one that I don’t know that answer to right now. Maybe go to business school? Work as a player agent? Work in an NBA front office? But for sure, I will enjoy my life with my family and friends



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