One-year wonder makes lasting impact

By Kadie DiGiuseppe

After only one season with Rider women’s basketball, Taylor Langan, a 5-foot-10-inch graduate student guard, was able to capture the hearts of fans. Scoring 399 points for the Broncs this season, Langan scored her season-high 31 points in a single game at the end of 2023 at Lehigh which led to her being named the MAAC player of the week. “I look back at that game and I can’t believe that that happened,” Langan said. 

When she was asked who her biggest inspirations are, Langan responded with the people that are the closest to her: her parents, Andrea and Dave as well as her older siblings, Bryan and Megan. 

“They are definitely my number one reasoning for why I play,” she said. “I look up to her a lot and I look up to my brother.”

Before Rider

Langan realized at a young age that out of all her sports, she gravitated the most toward basketball. When her parents made her decide between basketball and soccer during her junior year of high school at Jefferson Township, Langan said the decision was easy.

“Growing up, it’s kind of been easy but hard. I always knew I wanted to play basketball but my parents were like ‘Let’s stay busy,’ but I was just always around basketball,” she said. 

Langan admitted that while growing up, she constantly followed in her siblings’ footsteps and even played with her sister’s fourth grade team while only being in second grade. 

“I kind of always played up which was really cool to play with my older sister but the competition was more intense,” she said. 

Langan seemed to easily live up to her sibling’s legacy during high school, winning numerous awards in three different sports. 

After graduating with her degree from Colgate University in 2022, where she played only two out of four seasons due to injury, Langan followed her position coach from Colgate to Millersville University and played there for a year. 

In just a single season at Millersville, Langan led the PSAC in steals, led the team in points per game, as well as being named All-PSAC east first team, PSAC defensive athlete of the week and a PSAC athlete of the week.

“[My coach] has been a mentor for me,” said Langan. “She’s someone I talk to every single month since my sophomore year to graduating. Every year we talked and during my injury, she was there for me through it all.”

One thing that Langan does not take lightly is her teammates and relationship with them. 

“I really think that these awards that I’ve been winning this year and things that I have been recognized for this year come from them. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position to do what I do,” said Langan.

When asked how the adjustment to a new team and a new coach was, Langan said it was easy. 

“I love my team,” she said. “There could be a lot of egos that come into this but honestly, our team is not selfish at all. We really care about one another,” she added. 

Langan also gives a lot of credit to her teammates and coaches for her successes as well as giving her the capability to be a leader on the team. 

“They made me a leader on this team,” said Langan. “I was really thankful for that role because it just allowed me to be myself.”

Langan also had great things to say about her coaches adding that she is very thankful for everyone that helped her this season. 

“I think the coaching staff, when they recruited me, they only knew I was going to be here for one year so coming in for one year kind of just showed that they were betting on me and they believed in me,” she said.

‘She’s a terrific young woman’

Not only that, Head Coach Lynn Milligan believes that Langan is a good person all around. 

“She has the right mentality and I’m proud of how she represents Rider women’s basketball for this year,” said Milligan. 

Since this was Langan’s first year as a Bronc, she said that being a leader for this team has taught her a lot. Milligan congratulated Langan as one of the main leaders of the team for this season. 

“Taylor is one of those natural born leaders. She’s comfortable and it’s not forced for her. She can lead the team but also hold people accountable. She brings out the best in the team,” Milligan added. 

Langan said the game against Boston and at Lehigh were two of her favorite moments.

In the game against Boston, Langan led the team in scoring with 18 points and eight rebounds. In the game at Lehigh, not only did Langan have her Rider season-high 31 points, she also led the team with 16 rebounds and contributed both a block and a steal. “I just knew there was a big missed match for me and my team gave me the ball a lot,” she said. 

Langan said the game against Lehigh was “going to be a good day,” after making her first shot off an off-balance step-back with only a couple seconds left. 

She said being awarded All-MAAC second team was a great way to leave college. “I was really excited and I think it was one of the best things to happen was to leave college on such a high note. Also to get recognized for that made me feel like, ‘Okay, I can do this,’ and I made the right decision by coming here,” she added. 

Langan has recently signed with an agency to play pro-basketball in Europe.

Langan said that leaving college basketball will be a new experience for her but she is excited to see what the pros have in store for her.

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