After last season it became apparent that the Huskies could use some help in the shot blocking department and they found it today by adding JUCO big man Langston Wilson. The 6’9, 215 pounder out of Philly by way of Georgia Highlands College had previously been committed to Alabama but opened back up his recruitment after the Tide added several other players via the transfer portal.
Wilson is rated as the #2 JUCO player in the country by the 247 Sports Composite and has a fascinating background. His incredibly lanky physique hints at it but Wilson was diagnosed at an early age with Marfan Syndrome. Some of the trademarks of the condition include extremely long limbs and fingers which put extra strain on the heart and increase the chance of a cardiac issue. The physical traits can often be advantageous to sports like basketball and swimming but also make participating in them more dangerous.
Wilson was told at an early age he would never be able to play competitive sports because of the diagnosis but developed a great love for the sport of basketball playing outside of a competitive structure (his dad played at Villanova in college). He wasn’t allowed to play for his high school basketball team but after he turned 18 was cleared to play competitively after studies showed no signs of deterioration. The coach at Georgia Highlands College was sent clips of Wilson playing pick-up and offered him a chance to play. Wilson averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game as a freshman and should have 3 years of eligibility left. He shot about 30% from 3-pt range in his 2 years at GHC so it’s not a huge part of his game but good enough to keep defenses honest on the perimeter.
The first (and just about only) thing you see when looking at Langston’s highlights is the jaw dropping athleticism. He dunks with authority whenever he’s close to the rim and that skill looks like it will translate from the JUCO to the high D1 level. Many Husky fans I think will see similarities to Marquese Chriss who had a similar frame to Wilson and is the only recent Husky big man to have that kind of bounce.
Given his lack of time playing organized basketball it’s reasonable to think it will take a little while for Wilson to have a super high basketball IQ. His dad played extensively and he has been around the game all his life but the minutiae are things you pick up through experience which Wilson will have to build up. Similar to Hameir Wright it looks like Wilson should have the combination of agility and length to play either the corner or the center of the UW zone although he would clearly need to add bulk to play extensively at center.
With the additions to next year’s team of 6’7 Emmitt Matthews Jr, 6’8 Samuel Ariyibi, 6’10 Jackson Grant, and 6’9 Langston Wilson the Huskies have added a ton of length and athleticism to the 3/4/5 spots of the rotation which should drastically help their defense and rebounding next season. Given how raw Wilson is, I wouldn’t expect him to end up starting but at the very least he should be a tremendous energy big option coming off the bench.
Welcome to Seattle Langston!