Willing to carry the burden of a team

Despite having accomplished many things throughout his life, Phillippe Langlois would like to see his basketball career come full circle.

The second-year Concordia Stinger guard from St-Paul-de-Varennes has ambitions to return home after graduating from Concordia in order to work with kids and coach basketball.

Langlois’ love for basketball emerged at a time when the sport was mostly an American deal.

“I first knew I loved the game when I started to watch college basketball back in the days when the Fab Five played at Michigan and Jalen Rose was there. I wanted to play everyday to get better,” Langlois explained.

In fact, the Stinger went down south after graduating from high school and landed a full scholarship at Eastern Kentucky University.

“The game is much faster, more physical and more players are fundamentally sound. They start playing younger before we do in Canada,” Langlois added. “But I knew I could play in the U.S. and I did.”

Unfortunately, the free ride didn’t last. Eastern Kentucky was coming off three losing seasons and the coach was on his last strike.

Langlois was not aware of this situation when he was recruited for the team. The coach was eventually fired at the end of the season and the new coach had other recruits lined up before Langlois. “So I came home to Montreal and wanted to play for Coach Dore.”

Langlois views the entire experience without any regrets. “The year I spent at Eastern was an incredible experience. It showed me how to develop a good work ethic on and off the court,” he explained.

Langlois wears the number five for the Maroon and Gold’s basketball team, and that number wasn’t picked at random.

“The player I look up to the most is Jason Kidd [New Jersey Nets]. He is a great point guard, a floor leader and a tremendous passer. I enjoy the way he motivates the players around him to play at their highest level.”

After last season’s dismal 2-13 season, a question that lingered in everyone’s mind was concerning the Stingers’ performance in 2002-2003.

According to Langlois there was never any question about his dedication to the team, his players and to himself. “It feels good to win,” he said. “We needed to experience winning again. I never had any doubts about this team.”

In an interview with Langlois after the Stingers lost their third straight league game in December, his mood was still positive.

Langlois spoke of his team’s effort and what they had to do to win. He didn’t speak negatively of his players. He spoke of what he had to do to motivate them. It was obvious that this young man was willingly carrying the burden of the losing streak on his shoulders.

When asked what needed to be done, he replied without any hesitation. “I have to understand the style of all my teammates so I can compliment them. I need to understand their ball instinct. I have to be in a position where I can give them options.”

Thanks to Langlois’s leadership, the 2002-2003 edition of the men’s Stinger basketball team is now riding a winning season and with the play-offs just around the corner, some are saying that Concordia has a great chance of winning the QSSF division and even perhaps the National title.

“Langlois is our leader out there,” Head Coach John Dore said. “He is one of the best guards in the country and every game he just gets better.”

Langlois is a sociology student and also wishes to minor in leisure sciences. These studies should help him attain the goals he has for his post-Concordia life. “Eventually I want to go back to Varennes and start a program that includes sports activities for youth,” Langlois said.

His plans for his life in Varennes will have to wait a few years, for Langlois still has many things to accomplish at Concordia.

“First I want to help Concordia win a QSSF championship and then a National Championship.”

Before his basketball life comes full circle, Langlois also has ambitions to play in an overseas league.

He hopes to be able to play for the Canadian National team and represent Canada at the Olympics.

What it comes down to for Philippe Langlois is the love of the game. “Basketball is my drug. When I play ball, I just want to go out there and compete and build the best team we can.”

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