INDIANAPOLIS — Injuries and opportunity have kept Romeo Langford on the sidelines more than he would have liked in this, his rookie season.
But that won’t stop the folks from his hometown of New Albany, Indiana, from making the two-hour trek to Wednesday night’s game to support him and the Boston Celtics in what’s being billed as New Albany Night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Wednesday will be the first time Langford, selected by Boston with the 14th overall pick in last June’s draft, will return to the Hoosier State as a Celtic.
“It’ll be good, just to be back. I haven’t been back home in a while,” Langford told NBC Sports Boston, adding that the last time he was home was sometime in August. “It’s been a while. That first time going back, it’s going to be a good, special time. It’ll be nice for people who saw me grow up, to see me now in an NBA uniform.”
Langford was a four-year starter at New Albany High School and finished his prep career as one of the state’s most decorated basketball players ever.
He took his talents to nearby Indiana University, where he played for one season before entering last June’s NBA draft.
There are many in the New Albany community eager to see one of their own come back.
“We are excited to partner with the Pacers to provide our fans and community with an opportunity to celebrate Romeo’s return to Indiana,” New Albany Athletic Director B.J. McAlister said in a statement. “Our city’s support of Romeo over his high school and college careers was outstanding, and now everyone will get a chance to cheer him on in his first NBA game in our state.
Langford is with the Celtics but won’t see any action against the Pacers as he recovers from a sprained ankle.
“It is frustrating, but you just have to deal with it, try to get better and get back out there as soon as you can,” said Langford, referring to the series of injuries he has had thus far. “That’s all I really can do.”
Langford said he is feeling a lot better and thinks it’s just a matter of days before he’s officially cleared to resume full basketball activities.
Whether he plays or not, there’s very little that can damper Langford’s spirits on the eve of his first homecoming as an NBA player.
“Like I said, it’ll be good to see a lot of people who helped me get to where I am now, at the game,” Langford said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.