One thing is apparent about former Willard basketball standout Jimmy Langhurst. He needs to play.
Langhurst, the 2006 Willard graduate and the area's all-time leading scorer with 2,199 points, made the USA Select Basketball team in national tryouts held June 9-11 in Charlotte.
The team was formed to assist American basketball players in finding professional opportunities internationally. Langhurst will be on one of two 12-man teams that will travel to London in September as part of the 2011 European Exposure Tour.
"Playing professionally is something I've always wanted to do," Langhurst said. "I'm going to keep playing until I can't and the wheels fall off. I know I can play, that's the big thing too. There was no reason not to go to these camps.
"Even through surgery, I never lost that drive. There are people who often lose that drive or don't want to go through with it still when their college career is over, but I knew I had to stay positive. That's what helped me get through all that."
It's certainly been an interesting road to professional basketball if Langhurst lands a contract. After dominating the competition en route to 12 school records and an 81-17 record at Willard, Langhurst went to Division I Robert Morris University to continue his career.
At RMU, he was on his way to 1,000 points before tearing his ACL over Christmas break and missing the Colonials' final 25 games. The team made the NCAA tournament and nearly upset No. 2-seeded Villanova before falling, 73-70 as Langhurst watched from the bench.
During Langhurst's sophomore season, the team made the NIT and lost at Syracuse (87-81), and fell to Michigan State his junior season in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 77-62. The Spartans went on to the Final Four.
Despite those accomplishments, an empty feeling followed throughout rehabilitation of his knee, which kept him from professional opportunities in 2010.
"I basically spent the entire year taking care of it, getting stronger, faster and healed," Langhurst said. "Aside from playing when I could, I basically watched RMU and helped them out for practice. I know what it takes to win, so it was hard not to be part of a team."
For the rest of the story, read Wednesday's Sandusky Register.