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“Where are they now?” Duke basketball edition: Trajan Langdon

The Blue Zone will be running a summer series bringing you the latest on some of Duke basketball’s former stars. This week, The Blue Zone takes a look at Trajan Langdon.

Trajan Langdon's basketball career is one of the more interesting to revisit. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, a young Langdon was forced to shoot hoops as a child in snow boots and gloves, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the best 3-point shooters in the school's history.

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Langdon's story begins before he took his talents to Durham. Langdon's first professional sport was actually baseball, as the San Diego Padres selected Langdon in the sixth round of the 1994 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. While playing basketball at Duke, Langdon was spending his summers playing in the Padre's farm system. A third baseman, Langdon logged 186 plate appearances over three seasons, but he hit just .176.

Due to the salary he was taking in from the Padres, Langdon was not a scholarship basketball player for the Blue Devils, making him technically a walk-on. Regardless of his status, Langdon was a major contributor immediately for Duke. As a freshman Langdon started 24 of 31 games, averaging 11.3 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting from long range. After his impressive freshman season, Langdon missed the entirety of his sophomore season due to a devastating knee injury.

Langdon returned from his injury better than ever, starting every game for the rest of his collegiate career and being named to the ACC First Team as a sophomore, junior and senior. His senior season was especially notable. Langdon averaged 17.3 points per game and was named a First Team All-American. Langdon lead the Blue Devils all the way to the Championship game that senior season, but after a stellar performance fell just short of leading Duke to the title.

In 1999 the Cleveland Cavaliers made Langdon the 11th overall selection in the NBA Draft. The sharpshooting guard barely saw the court as a rookie, playing in just 10 games with Cleveland due to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. As a sophomore, Langdon got significantly more burn, playing in 65 games—five starts—and averaging 6.0 points on 41.1 percent shooting from 3-point range. In his final season with Cleveland, Langdon played just 44 games, averaging 4.8 points per game.

Langdon didn't draw significant interest following his three-season stint with the Cavaliers, and thus took his talents to Europe and joined Benetton Basket Treviso in Italy. Averaging 15.3 points per game over the season, Langdon led Treviso to the National Italian Cup title. After a stop with Efes Pilsen in Turkey—where Langdon continued his international succes by winning the Turkish National Championship—the Alaskan Assassin took his final shot at the NBA when he joined the Los Angeles Clippers for training camp. Langdon played sparingly during training camp and was waived before the season began.

It was after his failed attempt with the Clippers that Langdon made his move to Moscow, where he would play basketball for the remainder of his career. Langdon logged six seasons with Euroleague powerhouse CSKA Moscow, where he put together one of the best careers an American has ever had in Europe. Langdon's club won the Russian National Championship all six years he was with the team. In 2006 and 2008 CSKA also won the Euroleague title. Langdon was Euroleague Final MVP in 2008 and All-Euroleague First Team for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons after making the Second Team in 2005-06.

Now, at 37 years old, Langdon is done with his professional basketball career, but he has not walked away from the game. Langdon served as an advanced scout for the San Antonio Spurs this season, opting for the front office route as opposed to the coaching route. Langdon spent most of the season traveling along the east coast, watching both NBA and NBDL games. Langdon's Spurs are now playing in the NBA Finals, leading the Miami Heat 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.


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