Former IU star Romeo Langford alters shooting motion for NBA

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Romeo Langford poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 14th overall pick by the Boston Celtics during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

BOSTON, Mass. — Boston Celtics’ first round draft pick Romeo Langford is not only ready for a big change in competition in the NBA, but the Celtics want to change the way he shoots as well.

The 2018 Indiana Mr. basketball from New Albany who created a major stir when he committed to IU has a hitch. Suffering a torn thumb ligament during his only season in Bloomington added another issue.

“It’s a little bit of both,” said Langford as the Celtics prepared for summer league ball in Las Vegas. “I’ve got a little hitch in my shot, and if I want to be consistent and become one of the best shooters in the NBA, you can’t really shoot with a hitch in your shot. None of the great shooters in the NBA have a two motion release, so we’re trying to make it one. Get rid of that little glitch-hitch, and make it all one smooth release. I’ve kind of always shot the same way all my life, but the injury also hindered it a little bit.”

Langford was the 14th and final lottery pick in last month’s draft and is slowly working his way back from injury. “I’m doing some half-court stuff, learning new sets, and a lot of it is what we did at IU,” added Langford. “I’m taking it day-by-day until the trainers clear me, but I can learn watching, so I’ll be up to date.”

As for the new release the team is working on for Langford, the Celtics have him using a ping-pong paddle to make sure he keeps his left thumb off the ball. “My thumb messes it up, so we’re trying to eliminate the issue.”

Boston opens summer league play Saturday in Las Vegas against rival Philadelphia, and although Langford won’t play, his new rookie teammate, former Purdue shooter Carsen Edwards, will be in uniform ready to make his debut.

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